123 steps by MASA Architects

A shared house that would allow diverse lifestyles to resonate with each other

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards MASA Architects for providing the following description:


It was built 50 years ago in Kyoto, Saiin as a residence with a boarding house, and 10 years ago it started to operate as a shared house “123-so”. Since then, for 10 years, with the help of the landlord, 123-so has accommodated a variety of lifestyles.

▼建筑南立面,General view from the south © Tomoki Hahakura

▼户外空间,Outdoor terrace © Masashige Akeda


▼改造前后剖面图,Sections (before and after) © MASA Architects

▼轴测图,Axon © MASA Architects

In this project, the goal was to create a shared house that would not only accommodate the diverse lifestyles of each individual, but would also allow these lifestyles to resonate with each other. In order to accommodate the diverse lifestyles of the residents, and to resonate with their individual lifestyles while maintaining a good sense of distance, we have removed almost all partitions from the common areas and removing the extension around the main body, creating a common space like a piazza with distinctive features in each place in spite of one room by devising the eye level, perspective, plan, furniture, and circulation. Diversity and continuity are created in the space by three skip-floor spaces and a living space on outside terrace, and arranging circular furniture, lighting, and plants.

▼一层公共区域,View of the common space on the first floor © Tomoki Hahakura

▼室内细节,Interior details © Masashige Akeda


They can enjoy chatting, working, servicing bicycles, or holding events in the living space on earth floor, playing games, watching movies, eating, or just lying down in the living space on wooden flooring, or having breakfast, reading, or barbecuing with many people on the living space on outside terrace. Create a rich public space on the first floor that cannot be enjoyed in a house or apartment.

▼首层丰富的公共空间,The rich public space on the first floor © Tomoki Hahakura

▼铺设以木制地板的客厅,The living space on wooden flooring © Masashige Akeda

▼从厨房区域望向客厅,View of the kitchen and the living space on wooden flooring © Masashige Akeda

▼从厨房望向户外露台和灰泥地面的客厅 © Tomoki Hahakura
View of the living spaces on outside terrace and on earth floor from the kitchen

▼户外起居空间,View of the living space on outside terrace © Tomoki Hahakura


The private rooms on the 2nd floor (with loft) have a variety of lifestyles. The ceiling was removed so that the building could be fully used, and new lofts were installed so that each could maximize their diverse lives.

▼二层走廊,View of the corridor on the 2nd floor © Masashige Akeda

▼二层私人房间,Private rooms on the 2nd floor © Masashige Akeda

▼二层室内细节,Interior details on the 2nd floor © Masashige Akeda

▼材料细节,Materials © Masashige Akeda


We also expressed the spirit of diversity inherited there and new mutual resonance by redesigning the existing finish as much as possible.

▼夜景,Night view © Tomoki Hahakura

▼改造前后平面图对比,Floor plans (before and after) © MASA Architects

Design Overview: 123 steps
Project Name: 123 steps
Location: 123 Saiin Hisadacho, Ukyoku, Kyoto City shared house
Building programs: shared house
Building area: 67.03m²
Floor area: 132.36m²
Number of stories: F2
Structure: Wood
Construction period: March 2019 – August 2019
Content: Renovation (including structural reinforcement)
Design and supervision: MASA Architects
Planner: Yusuke Kita, MASA Architects
Management: 202company,inc
Structural design: Uemori Sadatomo
Landscape design: GREENSPACE
Fabric design: fabricscape
Lighting design: Hiroshi Inomata
Construction: Shimizu Corporation
Photos: After: Tomoki Hahakura, Masashige Akeda Before:Miki Yuya

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