ALTS Design Office Upgrade a 1980s House to Resist Earthquakes

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ALTS DESIGN OFFICE are well known for their residential scale projects throughout Japan. This project from the city of Suita is one of the most recent to be added to their portfolio.


The project has simply been dubbed “S”. It was completed in 2018 and saw the renovation of a two-story home. The property is set on a plot of land measuring 1,205.56-square-feet (112-square-meters).



The house itself occupies about half of the plot and contains a total of 979.51-square-feet (91-square-meters) that’s spread almost evenly over the two floors.



The renovation involved both an aesthetic and structural overhaul. The property needed some work to bring it up to speed with modern day earthquake resistance standards.

The house was originally built back in 1981 and was built according to the codes at the time. In the intervening years, new research has lead to improved standards and more rigorous requirements.


With structural issues addressed, the architects where able to focus on the redesign. Not all aspects of the original home were to be replaced though. Some of the buildings original charm and character has been maintained.


Much of the renovation involved either the creation of larger, brighter, open plan living areas, or the reallocation of existing rooms. The second floor saw the kitchen, dining area and living room being opened up into a single space.

In urban areas where houses are tightly and closely arranged, a space without a heavy sense of appearance and where soft daylight can come in will provide them with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, and enrich their lives.

On the first floor, the original kitchen/living room was divided into two rooms to make way for two children’s rooms and a dressing room.


Photos © Kenta Kawamura

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.