Title of Works

Houses open to the Community

Organizer / Architect

Kenchiku Design Studio


1995 IES/Award of Merit


Tokyo Kanto Region




Private House


This residence deals with two issues: creating a relationship between the home and the community (neighborhood) and between two generations in the same home through lighting; and creating an illuminated environment appropriate for the elderly.

The elderly couple has many long-time friends here. The entrance hall facing the street features indirect up-lighting and foot-lighting which can be seen from outside. On either side are stairwells, whose lighting illuminates people walking along the street. However, as both couples can see the lights go on and off across the garden, a sense of intimacy is provided. While maintaining privacy, this lighting arrangement connects the inhabitants to each other and to the community, by providing a glimpse of the life style within.

Since the vision of the younger couple, now in their late 40s, is beginning to decline, a well-illuminated environment appropriate for ten years is necessary, as it is for the older couple, now in their 70s. Visitors are struck by the soft, bright atmosphere. Warm fluorescent lights are used throughout this house, from the living room to the bedroom. Overall lighting is indirect, provided by illuminating walls and ceilings, while places for such activities as reading are directly illuminated.

When all the lights are turned on, the room, reflected in the large glass surface, seems twice as large. When lights are turned off, one can look out upon the morning sun, the evening sun and the moon in all its phases. One couldn't ask for more.