House in Mikage

- Mikage - Japan

Simple containers made of quality materials are the easiest to use. You don’t grow tired of them, and they bring out the best in whatever is inside. We think of living spaces as containers that bring out the best in your family and your life.

The project began with a request from a couple that owns a beauty salon we designed 15 years ago. The salon still feels modern today, and shows how well the owners have taken care of it.

When we visited their house, there was nothing unnecessary or out of place. DIY metal  hardware made it possible to change the way they use the space to match their changing  lifestyle. A single wild flower their child had picked stood in a simple vase. We felt they wanted a house to enhance the free and pleasant nature of their lives.

The property is located in a quiet residential area of Mikage, a nice contrast to their salon in downtown Rokko. It sits two meters above the street that forms its southern border, protecting the family’s privacy from the eyes of passersby below. A forested area on a cliff, spared from development, is visible to the south. The view from the house takes full advantage of the borrowed scenery.

Nature is present in the house. South-facing windows lead to outdoor spaces, like deep tunnels that create a serene space by obscuring neighboring houses while framing the borrowed scenery. Exposed structural elements in equal pitch showcase the wood’s natural character, while straddling and connecting inside and outside.

The custom-ordered trestle table on the first floor can be diassasembled and stored. The legs are interchangeable, so it can be a chabudai (Japanese-style low table), or taken up to the enclosed terrace and surrounded with furniture for lounging. The space is flexible. The owners will likely continue to change their DIY furniture as their life changes. We hope this space will be a container that accomodates the family’s unfettered and free lifestyle for many years to come.


House in Mikage

Area: 101.20㎡
Completed: 2016
Architect: Sohei Arao
Design office: SIDES CORE (
Photographer: Takumi Ota ©2016 Takumi Ota Photography
Construction: Nakanishi Kenchiku
Location: Higashinada-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo Prefecture
Designed: January 16 – March 5, 2015
Built: March 7 2015 – March 26, 2015


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