Schenk Hattori Creates a Contemporary Japanese Home that Showcases Wood

This beautifully crafted house is set on the ground of an existing property. The house has been built in order to accommodate the needs of several generations of the same family.


Located in Niigata, Japan, the single-family home was completed in 2017. The owners brought local architect Schenk Hattori into the picture, to help them create a contemporary abode that’s infused with tradition.



The project has been titled Housing Complex, and is set on a site measuring 1206-square-feet (112-square-meters). The house itself has a footprint of just 512.36-square-feet (47.6-square-meters) with a total floor area of 1022.57-square-feet (95-square-meters) over its two levels.



The main challenges faced by the designer were related accommodating the needs of the family, as well as creating a building which would slot into the existing traditional backdrop. The result is a clean contemporary home that showcases the use of wood in a Japanese fashion.


Housing Complex features wood in every room of the house. In places its balanced out through the use of lighter tones, such as in the kitchen, living room and dining area, where walls have been rendered and painted. However, in connecting spaces like corridors, the floor, walls, and ceiling can be completely finished in wood.


From the architect: “The joinery of elements reminds of a traditional shoji sliding system, but its reinterpretation results in the existence of a triangular absent space. This is an enigmatic element that allows reconsidering the relationship between the inside and the outside, between the functional and the plain space to live.”


For more Japanese houses check out this Japanese family home that attempts to integrate its owners into the neighborhood. Or, Chofu Apartment, which features a mountain room for its outdoorsy owners. See all Japanese houses.


Photos © Kohga Tamamura

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.