Kouichi Kimura Creates a Serene Home for a Photographer

Clad with galvanized steel and unpainted render, this home can be found along an arterial road through the countryside of Japan. The house has been designed by the Japanese architecture firm, FORM.


Kouichi Kimura lead the project throughout the design and build phases, liaising with the client to ensure they got the details right. The house was built for a photographer who wanted to create a space for living and working.



The project has simply been dubbed “House for a Photographer” and was completed in 2017. It’s sandwiched between several other residential buildings, all of which are more traditional in design. The house is set in a private neighborhood with the village shrine found opposite it.



According to the architects, it was the client who requested that the work studio and living spaces be combined. Kimura held several meetings with the client in order to clarify how exactly they want to live, instead of just creating totally separate spaces according to their functions. The result is a home that plays with light and texture.


From the architect: “The dim passage from the entrance approach invites visitors into the innermost space while guiding them with light thrown from the ceiling of the connected gallery. The gallery clips out a landscape with the opening to look like an exhibition. Its contrasted scale and natural light resonate with each other.”


The ground floor is largely dedicated to the gallery and the studio. The long entrance corridor acts as a space to showcase works, before leading into the hall, which is contains a work bench and sink for cleaning up and a bathroom. Beyond the hall is the main studio. It’s the largest of all the rooms in the house.


Upstairs you’ll find the home’s living rooms. It’s simply composed of a single room with a kitchen to one end. The rest of the room is free space to be allocated as the owner sees fit. From the architect: “It acts in concert with the photographer’s feeling and aesthetic and acts as the base to produce new creativity and activities.”


For more Japanese homes check out House in Hoshigaoka, which is designed to help care for its owners in their old age. Or, House in Tokushima, a family home with a wall of books. See all Japanese houses.

Photos © Yoshihiro Asada, Norihito Yamauchi

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.