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Keyhole House, Kyoto, Japan

Wednesday 21 Sep 2011

Through the keyhole...

All images by Koichi Torimura 
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Eastern Design Office completes intimate private home in buzzing urban development 

At the core of Kyoto, a city whose population is rapidly approaching 1.5million, it is hard to find a pocket of quiet solitude. Urban developments are becoming crowded and the city itself is rarely hushed however a small-scale project by Eastern Design Office has become the exception to this rule.

With a total floor area of 103.47 sq m this modest residence can only accommodate four people (and two cats) but canny design techniques and a charming underlying concept separate this petite project from its generic neighbours.

The architects explain: “The facade of this house has the shape of a keyhole. A key to open ‘my house’...is designed as a key itself on the facade of this house. A house can be called a key, which will open up your life happily.”

Windows play a major part in the communication of this concept, with small panes of glass dotted randomly across one side of the residence and a key-shaped window defining the wine-hued front door. This deliberately formed slit in the facade gives the house the appearance of floating, achieved by a thin steel eave fixed to the facade.

Simple colour coding characterises the Keyhole House, white and pale grey contrasting dramatically with the rich burgundy of the front door. Mortar has been mixed with sumi ink - a traditional Japanese product formed of soot, water and glue - to create the desired tone and feel to this unique, intelligently crafted residence.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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EASTERN Design Office

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