Imabari City is located in northeastern Ehime Prefecture. The city is connected to Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture, by Shimanami Kaido, a scenic road with a beautiful view of the Seto Inland Sea National Park and many islands. The city has developed into one of the leading shipbuilding districts in Japan due to its excellent harbor with calm waves, and is also famous for its towel industry. This building was constructed in the city center of Imabari as a private residence for a family of four.

The site is long and narrow from the road on the east side to the west, with a mansion with a large garden on the north side across a waterway, and a seven-story apartment building rising on the south side. The first design requirement for this site that everyone must consider is how to protect the view from the condominium. How to protect privacy while ensuring light and ventilation? To meet these requirements, a 40-meter-long concrete screen wall was placed on the south side of the building.

The size and structure of the wall were carefully calculated to meet various conditions. The structural feature of the wall is a "floating wall. The wall itself is raised off the ground, 1.5m from the room. Another feature is the concrete wall. The use of heavy concrete is significant. Because of the important role played by this wall, its structural significance had to be on the same level as that of the building. The building is a one-story structure with a cross-sectional structure that pursues the strength of the wall and high livability. The effect of the floating wall, which was completed after the above considerations, is as follows. It blocks the view into the interior from any floor of the condominium, and conversely, from the interior, one can see the feet of people entering the premises. Furthermore, it secures sufficient lighting and ventilation, and enables the interior environment to be regulated while taking measures for both privacy and crime prevention. The floating wall and the main body of the building are firmly connected in accordance with the weight balance, and also serve to store the outdoor units of the air conditioners.

The use of all-white color was also done for aesthetic reasons. The flat white color softly captures the color of the sky as it changes from day to evening. At night, the mood is changed by the lighting placed in the right places and by the interior light that spills through the gaps in the walls. ~The wall is designed to be a screen that reflects the flow of time in a straightforward manner. The interior is composed based on this floating wall. The long east-west building is divided into two parts, north and south, by a skip floor. Large, multi-purpose storage spaces are abundantly provided for a clean and clear living environment. While each private room has its own function, the boundary wall is lowered and the ceiling is covered with the same wood grain material so that the rooms are not visually divided.

Furthermore, a series of glass walls are used to create a bold open space from the courtyard to the swimming pool on the north side of the site. The view from the living/dining room above the skip floor is open, and the audio room on the northeast side of the house allows one to fully appreciate the luxury of living here. The view is not only through the large glass walls, but also throughout the room.

The roof surface has been lightened in consideration of earthquake resistance. The sky stretches out beyond the high sashes with green heads peeking out from the plantings placed in various parts of the roof. The light that spills into the interior stylishly creates the changing of the time of day and the scenery of the four seasons.

The silhouettes of plants swaying in the wind and the amber-like colors of the evening reflected on the walls are picturesque. After darkness falls, the flickering lights create a different atmosphere.

The private rooms are separated by an interior corridor. This corridor has the feel of an alley, with a single path running east to west across the courtyard. In addition to its aesthetic function of adding depth and dividing the rooms, it also functions as a breezeway. Breezes taken in from under the floating walls flow effectively through this corridor. It is a gentle alley style.

This building was completed in spring. Small petals sometimes fall from the peach tree in the courtyard. While I was admiring this emotional scene, a pleasant breeze flowed inside the room. It is slightly clad in the fragrance of spring. There is value in the beauty reflected in the eyes. However, the comfort one feels when closing one's eyes is richer than anything else. 
I have been deeply considering the comfort and drama of the "outside" that exists within the "inside" and "another outdoor space that develops inside the house," and I have been working on the architecture of this building.


  • Completion 2013.03
  • Building site Imabari City, Ehime
  • Principal use private residence
  • Structure RC one-story building
  • Floor area 284.26㎡
  • Photo Nacasa & Partners


  • 2013 グッドデザイン賞受賞
  • 2014 住まいの環境デザイン・アワード2014 暮らしデザイン部門 モダンリビング賞受賞
  • 2014 一般社団法人日本建築士事務所協会連合会主催 日事連建築賞 奨励賞
  • 2018 ASIA PACIFIC PROPERTY AWARDS 2018 Architecture Single Residence 部門 5スター受賞
  • 2018 INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY AWARDS 2018 Best Architecture Single Residence グランプリ