Folded facade gives a paper-like weight
to Yukio Hashimoto's F-House


The front wall of this small white house in Japan appears to have been folded down like the corner of a piece of paper (+ slideshow).

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

Designed by Japanese architect Yukio Hashimoto, F-House is a two-storey residence in Gion, a part of Kyoto best known as an exclusive geisha district.

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

Hashimoto gave the building a folded corner to evoke an association with the traditional Japanese art of paper folding.

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

"Like pure white paper, this building's facade has a small crease which brings forth images of origami," said Hashimoto. "The simple fold is intended to provide buoyance to the simple wall surface which would otherwise seem closed and weighty."

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

This is complemented by a curving canopy that appears to fold out from the wall to shelter the house's recessed entrance – a solid door made from Japanese horse chestnut.

There are no windows on the facade. Instead, like many Japanese residences, the house is filled with natural light from an internal courtyard surrounded by glazing.

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

"Traditional Japanese homes often hide an inner garden within. These inner gardens are an in-between space that is indoors and yet outdoors," explained the architect.

"Those dwellings inside these homes can feel light and darkness, rain and snow while inside their own home," she said.

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

The ground-level storey features a tiled floor surface that resonates with the hard surfacing of the central courtyard, which has a tree planted at its centre. This changes at first-floor level, where the architect has added timber flooring panels.

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto

The main staircase is positioned at the rear of the house, stretching up past a bedroom on the ground floor to an open-plan living room and kitchen on the level above.

A second staircase comprises a series of concrete treads cantilevered from the wall of the courtyard. These lead up to a secluded terrace on the roof.

F-House by Yukio Hashimoto
Floor plans

"This residence has a simple and modern structure but its essence is in passing on architectural space that is traditional to Japan," added Hashimoto.

Photography is by Yoshio Shiratori.

  • Marcel

    Great enlightening idea, maybe it would be even better if the fold had a more functional meaning (maybe generate a roof over the entrance area).

  • Leo

    I wonder if claustrophobia is cultural. Many Japanese houses featured in Dezeen negate public spaces. I’d prefer living in a home where I can see the street. That said, this house is beautiful – apart from the bathroom.

    • Airborne

      Even if there is a nice view, which usually there isn’t in an Asian city, there is the noise pollution. These houses are peaceful havens. A meditative inward looking aspect of the Japanese culture could be one plausible explanation.

    • Kris

      I’d propose visiting Japan first, commenting second.

  • mitate

    All quite lovely, fatuous fold and gargantuan rock apart.

  • mik

    Nice! Pity about the “folded paper” details :)

  • michele

    Just boring.

  • Dagný from Feel Inspired Blog

    I love how it looks like a folded paper. Gorgeous.

  • Concerned Citizen

    The fold on the corner is just irrelevant, like an afterthought. The bent over the door provides nesting and roost for pigeons, so they can drop their liquid cards on passersby.

    The ground floor has the only bedroom, but a minimal toilet, while the bathroom with the tub and shower is sequestered in the far corner off the living room.

    The courtyard contributes light only to a narrow sliver of a bedroom, while generously lighting a mostly useless corridor on three sides – enormous wasted space.

    All in all, this house is a huge failure.

  • kk

    PUR? Or what would you guess?