S-House – A Small Functional Family Home from Japan by Kazuteru Matumura

This property from Yamatokoriyama in the Nara Prefecture of Japan has been built to meet the needs of a family. The house is set on the corner plot of a built-up residential area.


Rather than maximize the size of the home, the designers instead decided to focus on the needs of the occupants. As a result, the house is smaller, but accommodates the needs of the owners perfectly.

S-House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes


The project, titled S-House, was taken on board by Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects after being contacted by the clients. The house was completed in early 2017, and contains a total floor area of 1,141-square-feet (106-square-meters).

S-House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Japan - Living Room - Humble Homes


From the architects: “With the intention to find the best balance, the house was designed to provide easy flexibility and space options based on the personal needs of the family, rather than using the maximum floor space according to the building regulations.”

S-House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Japan - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The house is built from a timber frame, which is evident from the inside; posts and beams are on display and help to loosely divide up the living spaces. The color palette is largely made up of warm wood tones coupled with cool white walls and black powder-coated steel.

S-House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Japan - Bedroom - Humble Homes

As is always the case with Japanese homes, there was a fine balance between providing window openings and maintaining the occupants privacy. It seems that they’ve got it right here – the interior is light and bright thanks to a series of small, well positioned, windows.

S-House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Japan - Floor Plan 1 - Humble Homes

The first floor contains an open plan living room, dining area and kitchen. A bathroom with a separate toilet has been placed in one of the corners, and there a exterior deck accessible from the living area.

S-House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Japan - Floor Plan 2 - Humble Homes

On the next floor up, there are three bedrooms, a study room, and a walk-in closet. Privacy curtains are used in the bedrooms to provide temporary separation and privacy between the otherwise open plan layout.

For more Japanese houses check out House of 33 Years, an experimental home that attempts to address future use. Or, Shinnohon House K, a contemporary family home from the suburbs of Japan. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
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.