Toda House (2011) by Kimihiko Okada

Coiled upon a hill in Hiroshima with a view of the Inland Sea and Miyajima rests Kimihiko Okada’s unusual take on a family home. 

Perched above the ground on stilts akin to a bird’s nest the house affords a stunning view as well as a measure of security. By raising the house a full story above ground the architect increases the privacy of the inhabitants without needing to add full walls, instead using a ribbon spandrel wall with varying heights.



The house itself is remarkable in that it is not a series of rooms but a single space that is coiled above and around the site. The slab floor and roof consist of one continuous plate that allows for future expansion. 

Together with the spandrel wall, the slab floor and roof create a flowing space with no defined separate rooms and the program defined only by the clients.

Like many other homes in Japan, the size of the land was smaller than those of typical American plots of land. The client not only needed a home on the site, but parking as well as space to build a shop in the future. 

The unique shape of the building and it’s relation to the ground neatly solves the issue. The area below the house by the stilts creates ample parking while the volume defined by the building itself creates a beautiful garden space that frames the sky and ties the home to the land.

 This fluid family home is one of flexibility and connection; The structure, layout, and fluid interior are all designed to accommodate change and extensions. And every aspect of the residence ties together, from the view of the Inland Sea the clients sought to capture, to the uninterrupted interior, to the framed garden space created by the house.


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