Floating fence surrounds house and
doll-making atelier by UID Architects

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A narrow white wall appears to hover around the perimeter and garden of this house and atelier – the third project on Dezeen this week by Japanese office UID Architects (+ slideshow).

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

UID Architects – the Hiroshima-based studio that recently completed a house framed by rectangular arches – completed Atelier-Bisque Doll in 2009 on a sloping site in the city of Minoh, just north of Osaka.



Rather than enclose the rooms with solid walls, the architects wrapped the building in three rectangular structures, described as "belts", which are raised above the ground to create glazed sections at the top and bottom of some of the rooms.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

One of the rectangular structures forms the outer fence, which extends from higher ground at the back to lower ground at the front, creating the illusion that it is floating above the street.

From inside, it offers partial views of the surrounding area, in order to make the building feel more expansive than its footprint.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

"A simple operation of overlapping belts obscures site boundaries and formulates a relationship to the site and the neighbourhood," said architect Keisuke Maeda.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

The building is occupied by a couple – one of whom is a doll artist – and it features a doll-making atelier at the front, with a workshop and meeting space, toilet, kitchen and a raised terrace facing the street.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

"The request was for an atelier that can be used as a gallery, and at the same time function as a doll-making studio," explained Maeda. "Additionally, it should be a space where the owner's friends, who are often invited, can gather."

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

The house is built behind the atelier, on higher ground at the back of the site. It features a living room and traditional Japanese tatami room at one end, a kitchen-diner and bedroom at the other end, and a bathroom and toilet in the middle.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

An S-shaped path winds from the front of the atelier to the back of the house, cutting a passage between the two structures. It is designed to offer the occupants and visitors a variety of views, and indoor and outdoor spaces as they make their way through the site.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

Built-in furniture has been used instead of walls to separate spaces inside, and resin flooring features throughout so that the rooms appear to flow seamlessly from one to the other.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects
Photograph by UID Architects

Frameless glazing and skylights have been placed around the building to offer views of the sky and surrounding trees, and bring light into the centre of the house.

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects

Photography is by Hiroshi Ueda unless otherwise stated.


Project credits:

Architects: UID Architects – Keisuke Maeda
Structural consultants: Konishi Structural Engineers – Yasutaka Konishi, Takeshi Kaneko
Mechanical consultants: K-style – Kousou Katayama
Landscape consultants: Toshiya Ogino Environment Design Office – Toshiya Ogino
Logotype design: Yamato design – Makoto Ouchi
General contractor: Seiyu Kensetsu – Yukihiko Nishida, Mitsuhiro Matsumura

Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects
Exploded axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects
Floor plan – click for larger image
Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects
Section one – click for larger image
Atelier-bisque doll by UID Architects
Section two – click for larger image
  • YVES

    I love it!

  • Sebastian May

    The only point I see in this fence is to keep away the collection of creepy dolls.

  • Doug Adamson

    The wall is a cantilever. This is how it defies gravity.