Cell Space Architects

Fold House

The design of this house uses “stacking”, “wrapping” and “shifting” in three dimensions. Cell Space consistently design starting from the composition of the entire building to the fine details.
Old Japanese houses are composed of multiple overlapping sliding doors that can close down or open out space. The Japanese court ceremonial kimono consists of 12 wrapped cloths that form overlapping layers. The design explores the use of these themes and the Japanese skill in creating harmony from the act of stacking and changing shape.

The main structure of the house consists of two sets of flat roof supported on East and West walls; the smaller sits within the larger set with the smaller offset to the North. Consequently a very large eaves has been created to the south, which keeps the summer sun out when the sun is high in the sky, but allows the low winter suns rays into the building through large windows to warm the house in the cold winter. A viewing platform and balcony has been created to the north by this arrangement. There is a gap between the two roofs and air can pass through this gap in summer to cool the building. In order to resist horizontal forces generated by earthquakes the inner external wall is oblique to the outer external wall, forming a structurally strong triangle shape that acts as a brace.


  • Location

    Chiba Prefecture

  • Type


  • Structure

    Timber frame, Steel framework, 2 stories

  • Site Area


  • Design Period

    January 2003 - August 2003

  • Construction Period

    September 2003 - March 2004