A Dirt Floor Snakes Through This Spectacular Japanese House

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Putting a spin on the traditional Japanese doma, a dirt floor extends throughout this home, forging an ever-changing indoor/outdoor connection.

Designed by Hiroshima–based architectural firm Suppose Design Office, House in Takaya is a modern take on the traditional Japanese concept of a doma. Meaning "a dirt place" in Japanese, a doma is an area of hard, compacted dirt that extends the entrance in a traditional Japanese home, melding indoors and outdoors.

Created as a single-family residence on a corner plot in an established residential neighborhood in the suburb of Higashi-Hiroshima, this modern home is arranged around a dirt floor—a unique interpretation of the traditional convention and one that the architects hope to be both a functional and flexible feature for the homeowners. Scroll ahead for a peek inside this very unconventional home. 

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From the outside, House in Takaya does little to hint at its inventive interiors.

From the outside, House in Takaya does little to hint at its inventive interiors.

The sliding doors at the entrance are only a minor, yet necessary, disruption in the home's virtually seamless indoor/outdoor connection. 

The sliding doors at the entrance are only a minor, yet necessary, disruption in the home's virtually seamless indoor/outdoor connection. 

"The doma is not only a corridor, but also a place to put shoes and hang paintings," explain the architects. "It is a like an outdoor space, but it is internal."

"The doma is not only a corridor, but also a place to put shoes and hang paintings," explain the architects. "It is a like an outdoor space, but it is internal."

In reimagining the traditional Japanese doma for contemporary living, the architects have retained the site's original topography and integrated the sloped terrain into the design of the  home.

In reimagining the traditional Japanese doma for contemporary living, the architects have retained the site's original topography and integrated the sloped terrain into the design of the  home.

"By taking in the slope into the building and creating a sloped 'doma' area, it was possible to bring the outside into the building," say the architects. 

"By taking in the slope into the building and creating a sloped 'doma' area, it was possible to bring the outside into the building," say the architects. 

The new space truly reimagines what indoor and outdoor space really is. 

The new space truly reimagines what indoor and outdoor space really is. 

A view from the upstairs

A view from the upstairs

 "It is a place where the kids play and where neighbors can come over and have a chat," say the architects.

 "It is a place where the kids play and where neighbors can come over and have a chat," say the architects.

The space also allows for traditionally "outdoor" items, like a child's bicycle, to be stored or even used inside. 

The space also allows for traditionally "outdoor" items, like a child's bicycle, to be stored or even used inside. 

"We hope that in time the house will make the client's lifestyle better by providing spaces that can change as they progress in life, much like how an outdoor space constantly changes with the environment," say the architects.

"We hope that in time the house will make the client's lifestyle better by providing spaces that can change as they progress in life, much like how an outdoor space constantly changes with the environment," say the architects.

Project Credits:
Architect of Record: Suppose Design Office
Structural Engineer: Ohno Japan
Photographer : Toshiyuki Yano