S House Renovation by yasuhiro sawa design office.

Both closed and open

Project Specs


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This is a renovation project of a two-story reinforced concrete house in a town located in the mid-western part of Kyoto Prefecture. It is a terrace house-like building with 15 identical facades of buildings constructed by a development project several decades ago. The 15 buildings face the road on the north and south sides. The north side of the buildings is an open road with heavy traffic and is used for stores like a shopping street. The south side of the building is a road with a sense of privacy, lined with residential entrances. The client’s family will be living in an unfamiliar place, so we needed a plan that would allow them to live in a positive and enjoyable environment. As the owner is a designer, his office is located on the north side of the building, and the north side of the first floor is open to the town. The south side of the building had a dated façade, both good and bad, and the interior layout of the building could be imagined from the façade, which made it look older.

▼临街办公室,the office facing the street © Yosuke Ohtake


For the first floor, we laid out the necessary rooms (positive) while keeping in mind the rooms without names (negative), and adjusted the balance of negatives and positives by planning a geometric shape rather than a simple rectangle. In general, the walls that face the outside air are called exterior walls, and those that do not are called interior walls. In this case, all the walls were positioned as exterior walls.

▼入口,entrance © Yosuke Ohtake

▼入口东侧钢琴区 © Yosuke Ohtake
piano area on the east side of the entrance

▼入口西侧更衣室 © Yosuke Ohtake
closet on the west side of the entrance

▼沙发区,sofa area © Yosuke Ohtake

▼裸露混凝土墙旁的楼梯 © Yosuke Ohtake
staircase along the exposed concrete wall

▼从梯下回望入口 © Yosuke Ohtake
view back to the entrance under the stairs


The second floor was planned in the same way, with the children’s room as the “positive” and the rest of the living room as the “negative”.

▼客厅,living room © Yosuke Ohtake

▼新旧材质结合,combination of new and old materials © Yosuke Ohtake

▼厨房,kitchen © Yosuke Ohtake

▼从厨房望向客厅,view to the living room from the kitchen © Yosuke Ohtake

▼儿童房,children’s room © Yosuke Ohtake

▼书房,study © Yosuke Ohtake


The public nature of the shopping street on the north side of the building is linked to the (negatives) on each floor, and I believe that this closed but open space has created a positive way of living.

▼一层平面图,1F plan © yasuhiro sawa design office.

▼二层平面图,2F plan © yasuhiro sawa design office.

Project name: s house renovation
Company name: yasuhiro sawa design office.
Website: http://yasuhirosawa.com
Contact e-mail: mail@yasuhirosawa.com
Location: Kyoto,Japan
Completion Year: 2017
Photo credits: Yosuke Ohtake / Yasuhiro Sawa

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