This Japanese Family Home Attempts to Integrate its Owners into the Neighborhood

This house from Sendai, Japan, has been built for a family who recently moved to the region. It’s set in an area where old and new buildings are intermingled with one another.


Because of the family’s relocation, the architects, Hiroto Suzuki Architects and Associates, sought to create a home which would connect them with the neighborhood.



The project is simply titled after its location, “House in Wakabayashi”. It consists of a contemporary home finished in timber, both inside and out. The three-story property is set on a small site that measures 936.46-square-feet (87-square-meters), with the house occupying much less than this.



The exterior sports a relatively large garden that surrounds the house. There’s also space for two cars – a real rarity in Japan. The interior is lavishly finished in wood throughout, from the floors and staircase, to storage units and shelves. The structure of the home itself also makes heavy use of timber, with the joists and posts left exposed in places.


The layout is somewhat unusual. They opted to place the parents bedroom on the first floor, along with the home’s main bathroom/washroom with a separate toilet, a compact walk-in closet, and a second entrance. Unlike the first floor, the next level up has been left entirely open.


The main living area can be found in the middle of the home. It consists of an open plan kitchen, living room and dining area. There’s also a terrace that’s accessible from the dining area, and comes complete with its own external staircase, providing direct access to this level of the home.


The final level of the home is dedicated to the children. It’s divided up into a bedroom, study area, and a living area. From the architects: “The relationship between architecture and surroundings is a popular issue for architects. We solved it not only by considering the environment of this house, but also by considering how surrounding environment would change after construction have finished.”


For more Japanese properties, check out Chofu Apartment, which features a mountain room for its outdoorsy owners. Or, CASE Real’s private family home on an exposed Tokyo street corner. See all Japanese houses.

Photos © Studio Monorisu

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.