1959 – Kamikozawa House – Kenji Hirose

The Karnikozawa house was built in 1959, when Japan was just starting its successful climb from devastation during the war to its current prosperity. The Kamikozawas lived in a modest wooden house at that time, but wanted to own a home that reflected their ideals and optimism. When they saw the work of architect Kenji Hirose in a magazine, they knew that they had found the architect for their dream house. Hirose has been a pioneer in the modern Japanese construction industry and is well known for having designed the first series of buildings in Japan using light gauge steel structures.

His original proposal was far above the budget set by Toshihiro Karnikozawa, who was only 32 years old at that time. However, both husband and wife worked with their architect — who was just a bit older — till they agreed on the plans, and completed a house that was quite radical for its time. Although built with Western materials and techniques, this one-storied, rectangular concrete box house has a calm sense of space reminiscent of traditional Japanese homes. Today, the house is transformed to a restaurant. The exterior, facade and concrete structure are still in good condition, while the interior changed strongly.


Name: Kamikozawa House│Type: Residential│Architect: Kenji Hirose│Completed: 1959

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