Tato Architects Create an Open Home with Almost No Internal Walls

The Japanese firm, Tato Architects, were responsible for the design of this unusual small home from Osaka. The project, simply titled “House in Miyamoto”, was completed in 2017.


The house has been built for a young family of three. The clients provided the architects with a simple brief that emphasized a desire for the family to be able to remain “close to each other regardless of where they are in the house.”



The result is a home with split level floors that are open to each other. House in Miyamoto is set on a relatively large site (by Japanese city standards anyway) measuring 1,377.78-square-feet (128-square-meters). The house itself occupies just 538.19-square-feet (50-square-meters) of the site.



The interior is a wash with white finishes. The structural elements of the home have been left exposed – steel beams and sheeting can be seen from any point in the home. Some of floors almost appear to be floating at first glance, however closer inspection reveals they’re using sky hooks to support them from above, rather than below.


The open plan intertwining floors allow plenty of natural light to filter through the home. It also allows the occupants to maintain contact with one another, regardless of what level they’re on. The juxtaposition of floors adds up to a total area of 1,011.81-square-feet (94-square-meters).


You might notice there’s a lack of storage closets and compartments in the home. The clients purposely asked for storage to be excluded from the design. Instead, their belongings are on show and help to shape the interior. The crisp clean finish produced by the steel structure is softened by the presence of books, art and an array of furniture.


In terms of layout, the ground for is used almost like a garage, storing bikes and other items. The next floor up contains the kitchen and dining room, which, following on from an intermediary level, leads into the living room. The fourth and final level contains the sleeping spaces and the bathroom.


For more Japanese houses, check out Hat House, which features a playful interior composed of oddly shaped rooms. Or, Jun Igarashi’s open plan home with the dining room at its heart. See all Japanese houses.

Photos © Shinkenchiku Sha

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. I certainly couldn’t live here. No privacy seems to be the order of the day… fine if you are a nudist or exhibitionist, both of which I am not.

    Plus… only the bathroom stairs has a handrail. What were they thinking? Unless one dies young we all are likely to start becoming more infirm. This place could (would?) be a death trap for the infirm and/or elderly.