House in Umezu is a Functional Family Home by Koyori and DATT

This industrial looking building can be found in a fire prevention zone in the city of Kyoto in Japan. It’s been built for a married couple in their late 20’s along with their children.


The property, simply titled House in Umezu, was designed in a collaboration between two local architecture studios, Koyori and DATT. Together they’ve produced a functional family home, capable of adopting to the needs of the occupants over time.

House in Umezu Koyori DATT Japan Exterior Humble Homes


The two-story wood framed house is set in the Ukyo area of Kyoto. This area is under strict fire prevention regulations, which lead to the industrial looking exterior. It’s set on a small corner lot, and – unlike a lot of other properties in Japans dense cities – contains a small garden to the front.

House in Umezu Koyori DATT Japan Kitchen Humble Homes


Completed in 2015, it contains a total floor area of 990.28-square-feet (92-square-meters) over its two levels. The interior is a much warmer space than the exterior. It makes heavy use of wood throughout, with it being used as a floor and ceiling finish.

House in Umezu Koyori DATT Japan Kitchen 2 Humble Homes

The timber frame structure is also apparent from the interior; large wooden joists line the ceiling of the ground floor. All that wood is toned down by the white walls, providing balance and preventing it from feeling like a wood log cabin.

House in Umezu Koyori DATT Japan Living Room Humble Homes

The ground floor is composed of a mostly open plan layout. The entrance is flanked by some storage closets and leads through to a kitchen/living room. One wall of the home houses a Japanese style bathroom and a traditional Japanese room. A simple staircase in the living room takes you up to the next level.

House in Umezu Koyori DATT Japan Floor Plan Humble Homes

The upper floor contains two bedroom, a toilet and a second living room. From the architects: “Being a working couple with no matching rest time, enriching everyday family life was sought by placing not just a living room on the first floor, but another living room in the second floor as a private space.”

For more Japanese houses check out Shinminka by Issho Architects, which fuses modern and traditional design. Or, S House, a small family home by Kazuteru Matumura. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Kosuke Arakawa

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.