Dezeen Magazine

Exterior of One-Legged House in Japan by IGArchitects

Single concrete column supports One-Legged House in Japan

A single concrete column supports the walls and roof of this house by Japanese studio IGArchitects, creating a flexible interior that can be opened up to the surrounding landscape.

Named One-Legged House, the home sits on a small hill overlooking the coast of Okinawa and was designed for a client wanting "a clear view to the ocean and wind flowing through all day long", said IGArchitects.

Aerial view of One-Legged House in Japan by IGArchitects
IGArchitects has created One-Legged House in Japan

The Saitama-based studio organised the concrete building around a single, large column at its centre, which allowed its envelope to be wrapped with wood-framed, sliding glass doors.

"Like an opened umbrella, the roof and walls [of the home] are extended from the only column," explained IGArchitects. "The solid structure looks like it is floating."

Concrete home in Japan with openable facade
The home is designed around a single concrete column

Inside, One-Legged House is designed as a single open space, which ensures its function can be easily changed in future if desired.

The central column separates a kitchen area from a bedroom and living areas, while a bathroom is closed off for privacy with simple white curtains.

Interior of One-Legged House in Japan by IGArchitects
The column helps create a flexible and open interior

Above, the roof of the home is wrapped by a wall of board-marked concrete, which extends upwards to create a parapet for a rooftop terrace and downwards to block glare from direct sunlight in the interiors.

"Direct sunlight in the summer does not penetrate inside, and the ocean breeze flows through the space when the windows are opened, which makes the use of air conditioning unnecessary," said IGArchitects.

Where One-Legged House faces back towards other residential properties to the south, it has been finished with wooden panels and clerestory windows to provide privacy in the sleeping area.

"Even though the layout has just one column in the centre, it gives the feeling of 'further space', hence the column is like a large wall," said the studio.

"The house aimed to have a flexible structure that could be adapted to function other than a residence, and a strength that would not be affected with other situations," it continued.

Kitchen of One-Legged House in Japan by IGArchitects
Sliding glass doors open the home to the outside

When opened, the northern side of One-Legged House leads out onto a rock-covered patio surrounding the building. This patio is lined with areas of planting and features an external concrete staircase leading up to a roof terrace.

Other Japanese houses recently featured on Dezeen include a home in Tokyo by Cubo Design Architects that references traditional Japanese craft and an angular concrete villa in Minamiboso City by Takeshi Hirobe Architects.

The photography is courtesy of IGArchitects.

More images and plans

Plan of One-Legged House in Japan by IGArchitects
Sections of One-Legged House in Japan by IGArchitects