House T is a Private Residence Shielded from Neighboring Buildings

This contemporary house is set among the much more traditional backdrop of Toyota, Japan. The surrounding buildings are all finished in a much more decorative style, making this home stand out among the crowd.


The project was taken on by the Japanese architecture firm, Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates, and has been dubbed “T”. It was completed in 2017.



The property is site of a site of 1,981-square-feet (184-square-meters). The house itself occupies just a fraction of the site, with a build area of 592-square-feet (55-square-meters), and a floor plan measuring 1,098-square-feet (102-square-meters) thanks to its multiple levels.



The exterior doesn’t give much away – windows are few and far in-between in this home. On the ground floor, the dining area, library and a common corridor feature windows. The remaining spaces are lit with the help of the clerestory windows, placed around the perimeter of the home just below the roof.


Restricting the amount of openings not only create’s a very inward-looking home, but also helps to create a play of light and shadow. Almost half of the home is dedicated to a corridor-like space that features a double height ceiling and serves as an “inner garden”.


The cross-section is probably more revealing than the floor plan for this home. With it, you can see the juxtaposition of floor levels. The ground floor is home to the dining area, kitchen, inner garden, and library. There’s also a small downstairs toilet set next to the staircase.


The upper floor contains the sleeping spaces and the main bathroom. A third loft level sports a series of desks, presumably to support studying or function as a home office. From the architect: “The natural light coming in from the gap at the top of the structure reflects several times to embrace the inside with the soft ambiance on some occasions, and the morning or evening sun shine in sharply on other occasions.”


For more Japanese houses, check out this contemporary lakeside cottage in Nagano. Or, Mushroom House by SpaceSpace, which seeks to amplify quality time. See all Japanese houses.

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.

1 Comment
  1. So glad they are shielded from other buildings. Now how do we shield other buildings from them??? If I were condemned to live next door to a black shoebox, I would move.

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