Architects Atelier Ryo Abe

House in Takamori

- Totsukawa village, Nara, Japan

Totsukawa village located in remote mountain area of Nara prefecture, 96% of land is covered by forest, density of population is 5.2 people/m2. In the 55 communes of Totsukawa Village, many old people live alone with anxiety in the isolated remote area, supporting services are getting more and more difficult with necessity of long distance drive and less of service fellows, they tend to move out of village with cause of aging and lots of places are getting difficult to keep the condition as commune.


We propose to design the public houses to create new commune where isolated old people can move in, supporting each other and live together with neighbors until their final moment in this village. This is also the system of providing 2 living-hood life style that they can keep their original commune as holy place of ancestors and getting new environment to have real communication with neighbors.


We designed 4 houses for 8 elderly families facing to the inner garden as semi public area, and designed one house for the family with children having common space for the elderly family under its same roof to make smooth approach to the center garden where public functions are placed. Center house (facing to center garden) is used for Co-working program, public affaires, temporary short – stay for old peoples, medical service, education program and conference, and also emergency escape space. The low roof canopy around the houses continuously connected each other and making shapes of communes as one good neighbor-hood.

Shinkenchiku 02.2018

JA – Japan Architect No.111


1 : Photo by Shinkenchiku-sha
2-10 : AARA

Association :
Kei MINOHARA / Environmental Design Associates, Architects & Planners
Architectural Laboratory for Systems Environment Development