Horibe Associates’ House in Mita Features Inward and Outward Spaces

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This meek steel clad home can be found in Kishiwada, a town in the of south Osaka in Japan. The property is set on the town border and overlooks green fields and woodland.



Titled “House in Mita”, the project was taken on by the Japanese architecture studio, Horibe Associates – a firm who are no stranger to small builds.



This particular project amounts to 911.06-square-feet (84.64-square-meters) and was completed in 2017. It was built for a young family and is spread over a single level.


The wooded area sits between the site and a main road, meaning it provides not only a natural backdrop, but also a buffer which reduces noise and increases privacy. – Horibe Associates

Naoko Horibe acted as lead architect during the design and construction of the home. The result is a small, unassuming building with both inward and outward spaces.


The floor plan takes on a u-shape layout with the home’s rooms clustering around a central courtyard. This is the “inward” space, sheltered from onlookers and the weather.

As you move towards the courtyards front opening, the private sheltered space gives way to a more open one. The front of the property is kitted out with a deck that runs the length of the home.


On the inside, the house has been divided up into a number of small rooms – contrary to the current open plan trend, this home is mostly closed plan. However, the kitchen, dining area and living room have all been left open to one another.

The rooms other than the living areas are arranged so they also face the courtyard, providing an environment that is conducive to communication among family members. – Horibe Associates


The master bedroom, children’s room, and closets are located along the left-hand-side of the plan. Whereas the right-hand-side is largely dedicated to the toilet, bathroom and wash room.

Two other small spaces have been included to accommodate the owner’s needs – a small office, and a sewing room, both placed at opposite ends of the house. All the main rooms in the home overlook the central courtyard, with large windows drawing in plenty of natural light.


Photos © Yohei Sasakura

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.

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