Shuhei Goto's Floating House in Ogasa features two-tone cladding and a 360-degree window

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A sliver of glass separates the two volumes of this bottom-heavy residence in Japan's Shizuoka Prefecture, which is made up of a bulky rectilinear base with a house-shaped block on top (+ slideshow).

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

Japanese firm Shuhei Goto Architects based the bottom-heavy design on a photograph of a traditional Japanese warehouse featuring a raised floor, which was built in 300 BC.

The aim was to create the illusion of a floating house-shaped block on top.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

The 120-square-metre residence has a wood and steel frame. It is clad in two-tone grey cladding that lends the house an industrial appearance, and emphasises the distinction between the ground and first floors.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

The project is named Floating House in Ogasa after both its formation and its location in Ogasa, a town in the west of Shizuoka Prefecture.



Goto set out with two converse intentions – to create a feeling of openness, but also privacy within the densely built-up residential area.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

"The site is surrounded by the houses of neighbours, so the main theme of the design was to form a space with excellent privacy and an open space with brightness," he said.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

The strip of glass sandwiched between the first and second floor is supported by steel struts, and gives a 360-degree view of the neighbourhood from the wooden staircase.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

It also acts as a clerestory window for the open-plan living area at ground level, which has only a few windows. A broad set of glass doors boarders a raised tatami mat-covered space, and faces into the property's back garden and rockery.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

The interior is finished with white walls and pale wooden fittings throughout to add to the illusion of space.

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

"A living room is surrounded by the sky on every side, so the resident doesn't have to care about neighbours," explained Goto. "This house can bring him or her a bright and healthful life."

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects

The structure takes on the same traditional gabled form and metallic cladding as another project Shuhei Goto Architects designed for a family in the nearby city, Kosai.

Photography is by Takumi Ota.


Project credits:

Architecture: Shuhei Goto Architects
Structural design: Takeshi Kaneko

Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects
Site plan – click for larger image
Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects
Intermediate plan showing clerestory window – click for larger image
Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects
First floor plan – click for larger image
Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects
Section one – click for larger image
Floating House in Ogasa by Shuhei Goto Architects
Section two – click for larger image
  • Guest

    Surprised to see non-observance of asymmetry in a Japanese house.