Works

We aim to create structures and spaces with a strong contrast of light and shadows, which add beauty and sustainability for years to come.
We focus not only on versatility, but on how to appeal to one’s visual sense and evoke thought.

Hafye

Location: Odawara City, Kanagawa, Japan
Date of Completion: September, 2016
Principal Use: Residence
Structure: RC+Wood
Building Area: 123.90m2
Site Area: 318.0m2
Total Floor Area: 187 m2 (74 m2/1F, 113m2/2F)
Period: 2015.1~2016.9
Photo: Hiroshi Ueda
Located in a terraced residential district, the lot for this project was half flat and half sloping. Nearby is Odawara Castle, built in the 15th century. The property looks down on the neighborhood that grew up around the castle, and beyond that Sagami Bay and Enoshima island in the distance. The client, who was born and raised in Odawara, wanted a relaxing home where he and his family could look out on this familiar yet constantly changing landscape. We envisioned a mid-air space with all the core elements for daily living lifted up onto the second story, and thought about how to bring the scenery of Odawara into every room. The entryway, guest room, and music room had to be located on the ground floor, so we proposed raising everything else up above them. The three ground-floor elements are located inside two boxy feet that support the second floor. The feet are connected by a single large slab that runs down to the road, and on top of this sits the light wood-framed structure containing the remaining rooms. The children's bedroom is located in a section of the structure that angles down diagonally due to the slope of the road; directly below is the approach used by students who take piano lessons with the client. Outside, part of the sloped area was terraced using sheet piles so the family can grow a vegetable garden. Passing through the dim entryway and up the stairs, one emerges into a space filled with light from large windows that overlook a sweeping view of Odawara. The gently linked rooms are divided into zones by differing floor elevations and ceiling heights, but one can enjoy the views and natural light from each space. Lifted into the air by its strong, boxy feet, this home provides a comfortable window onto nature's ever-changing scenery.

MaOL

Oiso, Kanagawa, Japan
Date of Completion: December, 2015
Principal Use: Residence
Structure: Wood
Building Area: 59.45m2
Site Area: 141.45m2
Total Floor Area: 111.10m2 (58.44m2/1F, 52.66m2/2F)
Period: 2014.6~2015.12
Photo: Koichi Torimura
Overlooking the Sagami Bay to the east and Mt. Fuji in the point of forest to the west, this house "MaOL" is located at the best view point surrounded by nature. Because the client request is to feel the spacious view and nature’s atmosphere maximally from the house, we set up the concept of the house which is getting better little by little by the color of the sky, nature transitory and the angle of light. The angular shape of interior, which is created by drawing a line along the street, makes depth and unique shadow in the space. The variety size of opening may be looked like randomly being placed at first sight. However, to arrange the placement, we simulated life scene, a line of sight from the outside, height of eyes when walking and sitting in LDK and the angle of light. In addition, “Fujitsubo”, uniquely projected mortar frame, not only trim the scenery, but also being a device to make shadow contrast strong.

FOL

Oiso, Kanagawa, Japan
Date of Completion: March, 2016
Principal Use: Residence
Structure: Wood
Building Area: 63.24m2
Site Area: 234.85m2
Total Floor Area: 112.80m2 (52.88m2/1F, 59.92m2/2F)
Period: 2015.1~2016.3
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
Enjoyable great view from the site, this house is located on the top of the hill to be able to overlooking the Hiratsuka City in front, a distant view of Enoshima and Miura Peninsula to the east. There is no choice in zoning of building because of 2 separate ground levels in mostly triangular shape of the site and short length of connecting road. In addition, here is not good accessibility. However, the client decided to live along with this beautiful scenery and green. Spiral form of the building comes from various requests and restriction by the site shape. Interior space finish that has been unified in a dark color has been selected to feel more strongly the large amount of falling light from the large opening. When going up the stairs through the dark space, we would be wrapped in dazzling light. Once the retina gets a rapid contraction, eyes get used to the darkness and finally horizontal line appears. Lush greenery and Sagami bay of blue are beautifully trimmed and the stunning view is burned in the mind at the same time. In the house surrounded by nature, we imagine that the client family play with their children while lie down in the scenery.

cnest

Kanagawa Prefecture Oiso-machi
Site area: 337.89m2
Building area: 110.032m2
Total floor area: 146.882m2
Structural design: NAWAKEN-GYM Kenji Nawa
Constructor: Nagano Construction Co., Ltd.
Period: 2010.11 to 2013.9
Photo: Hiroshi Ueda / Yasuno Sakata
This is a unique project with an elevation gap of 14 meters, and an inclination of 70 degrees at maximum. Residents will be in total awe of the phenomenal view of the horizon. The design of the structures was drafted with the image of several floating wooden boxes hanging from zelkova and maple trees, which immediately captures our attention upon entering the premises. The cantilevers of 4meters by 14 meters are supported by RC slabs and thin steel frames as the branches that support the wooden box. As half of a story – legally considered a basement- is underground, the openings allow sunlight to enter and softly illuminate the room. This emphasizes the contrast and graduation of light and shadows. This residence appeals strongly to the eyes and truly embraces the concept of nature and natural light throughout the building. This project can be considered the perfect combination of Civil Engineering and Architectural Development.
"cnest" was selected in "Best of March" (2014) in domus web site.

2KAM

Kanagawa Prefecture Kamakura-shi
Site area: 244.20m2
Building area: 92.81m2
Total floor area: 153.62m2
Constructor: Daido Kogyo Co., Ltd.
Period: 2012.3 to 2013.4
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
This residence is located in the mountains, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. To truly experience the fine view, the windows in the living room on the second floor can be fully opened. Though the layout may appear to be simple, residents can appreciate the texture of the stones and wood, and are provided with an atmosphere of luxury and sophistication in harmony with nature. One can use all five senses to appreciate the nature and tranquility of Kamakura, especially the sense of smell as wood burns in the fireplace.

Reno-F (Renovation)

Kanagawa Prefecture Zushi-shi
Site area: 403.53m2
Building area: 149.772
Total floor area: 248.79m2
Constructor: Daigo group
Period:2012.10 to 2014.03
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
This is a renovation project that we redesign mainly interior of existing RC house after make it skelton. The house is located away from the hustle and bustle of Zushi. Request from the client, who live in downtown, Tokyo and use this house for a second house, is to recreate this old unuseful house to comfortable space in all seasons, with a modern specs. We totally reconstruct a circulation collaborated with a program in the space that has been zoned by materials as well as controlling an intensity of the light and shadows, for example entrance, living space and garden. From entrance to living space, warm colored materials are installed as a continuous pass way across the existing opening towards the garden from interior to exterior. The first floor is configured as a large space for party, while the second floor is programmed for kids play and music studio that is client's interest. This house is finished up with a feeling of the warmth and tranquility as a hideaway for family.

FUH

Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan
Date of Completion: Jun, 2016
Principal Use: Residence
Structure: Wood
Building Area: 112.36m2
Site Area: 299.98m2
Total Floor Area: 145.68m2 (107.41m2/1F, 38.27m2/2F)
Period: 2015.1~2016.6
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
This site is located in a peaceful place facing in front of the tea plantation, nearby Mt.Fuji, so the request of this house FUH is “playful house for their family to feel time goes slowly that becomes precious memory. LDK mainly consists of a one-story of the large triangle roof, and the canopy is attached to it to distinguish the living room from other connected space. Because we design various places’ details acutely, the interior space is recognized as sharp and unique Japanese modern. In addition, to mix the medium range of Japanese colors materials creates relaxing atmosphere. We imaged the house will be a place for their children to run around, jumping and hanging...the house itself produce their own original memory for a long time. It was conscientiously completed over a good craftsman team while we think such a thing.

HAG

Location :Hagi, Yamaguchi, Japan
Date of Completion : Jun, 2015
Principal Use : Residence
Structure : Wood
Building Area : 170.40 m2
Site Area : 762.15 m2
Total Floor Area : 255.88m2 (157m2/1F, 98.88m2/2F)
Period: 2013.1 to 2015.6
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
To associate with each other in terms of moderate privacy satisfactorily, HAG is planned for two generation living separately in a house. The client is composed of a family and their grandmother. The first floor is arranged for private rooms for a family, while the grandmother's space is on the other side across the courtyard, which is not connected from the inside. On the second floor, space of relaxation for all, LDK(Living Dining Kitchen) and Bath, is placed and connected to the roof garden for children to run around circulatory. Slanting wall idea on elevation is come up with ensuring the privacy from school which is located on south next to the site as well as getting natural light. The slanting wall not only gives facade design impact, but also satisfy the functional aspects of the plan. White residential volume surrounded by seamless galvalume is imaged to wrap a soft atmosphere of the family gently. Even though suppressing the direct sunlight, we are aimed at the friendly space configuration which seems to their family by installing many bright materials and indirect natural light.

BHT

Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
Building Area : 57.12 m2
Site Area : 115.71 m2
Total Floor Area : 107.98m2
Constructor : Uchida Sangyo Co., Ltd.
Period: 2014.3 to 2015.5
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
BHT, Suginami city in Tokyo, is located at right next to the farm, a open space towards the sky in a dense residential area. Because the site is recessed from main street, only entrance is visible. We carefully draw a line to make the visible facade stand out by the pointed eaves. In the entrance hall, continuity from inside to the courtyard towards the foliage and sky, divided by non-framed glass, promote residents who come back comfort. Going up to the second floor, 3 different level of the scene are framed by windows. As well as the design concept which utilizes the characteristics of the site, material coordination does space rich more. Main material is mortar that is yet hard impression, but not going too much modern taste by creating soft texture. The mortar dining table and kitchen's top is set same level as living floor to create continuity in the space, even the floor level of dining and living are different. We believe that these factors, floor level difference, continuity of material, and 3 framed windows, direct beautiful sequence and timeless.

GREEN WALL

Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Date of Completion : March, 2015
Principal Use : Residence
Structure : Wood
Building Area : 31.67 m2
Site Area : 79.58 m2
Total Floor Area : 62.10m2 (30.43m2/1F, 31.67m2/2F)
Period: 2013.11 to 2015.3
Architecture : Hitoshi Saruta
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
This project, "GREEN WALL", is located in front of green park, Setagaya city, Tokyo. This area is strictly regulated by city planning such as landscape planning and building line set back, so the buildable area is only 32m2 out of 80m2 and total floor area is 62m2. We mainly considered how to make this limited space rich by hybrid space and light system. The request from the client is "simple and minimal", so the facade is very simple, " The house shape", with top light. In contrast of the enclosed facade, the entrance hall is a open void space placed nearby light court, connect all spaces from first floor up to loft. Natural light directly comes down to the north side of white wall in the court and the reflected light comes in from randomly installed windows besides wood stairs. This system, use of reflected natural light in north side, makes this area naturally light as well as setting a visually bright target . As you go up to the living area on the second floor, the room is getting bright. We aim to control the amount of the natural light by floor level to suit active condition in each programs. In the future, the facade wall and the light court is covered in green, so that it will go a part of scenery in the area.

SOL

Kanagawa Prefecture Oiso-machi
Site area: 161.03m2
Building area: 55.21m2
Total floor area: 99.42m2
Constructor: Nagano Construction Co., Ltd.
Period: 2011.11 to 2013.6
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
While drafting the design of cnest, we received an offer to design a house on the neighboring lot by sheer coincidence. Although the layouts are quite similar to each other due to similar terms and conditions of construction, SOL has defining characteristics of embracing light and framing scenery. Designed using sequential repetition, the unusual arrangement of large square windows provides residents with a breath-taking view from almost every angle. Whether sitting, standing, or walking, one will have a picturesque view at any given hour of the day. We have designed a quiet house filled with light by once again controlling the contrast of light and shadows. The views are equally beautiful at dusk, as one has an impressive view of the sun melting into the lush landscape surrounded by the Oiso Mountains.
"SOL" was selected in "Best on Archilovers 2015"

COLORS

Aichi Prefecture Nagoya-shi
Site area: 338.3m2
Building area: 160.1m2
Total floor area: 225.92m2
Constructor: Belive Co., Ltd.
Period: 2014.5 to 2014.12
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
COLORS is a house planned for clients who consists of father and daughter. This project is highly required the elements of the interior design as well as architectural plan. Entrance hall is composed of a large-long slit atrium and roughly painted mortar stairs, functionally dividing the father and daughter's living area as a buffer zone. The symmetrically installed slit top light is dictated an impression of the space as if the light pours down in the dark staircase such as a setting of a film. The father's living area, right side from the entrance hall, is a simple Japanese modern. In addition, independent atelier, floating wood box located in a center court, is also designed with the modern Japanese out looking and domed ceiling, reflecting natural light vaguely. For daughter's space, left side from the entrance hall, Washitsu is placed at the first floor and home to the courtyard to chill with her guests. The Washitsu is coordinated with more vivid colors such as red painted wall, black Tatami and colored Andon as well as Fusuma which is originally painted. Main bedroom in the second floor is designed like a designers hotel in Europe instead of traditional Japanese color coordination as it makes her positive in the art.

ShimonosekiLH

Yamaguchi Prefecture Shimonoseki-shi
Site area: 297.16m2
Building area: 106.65m2
Total floor area: 174.60m2
Constructor: Tokimori Kensetsu Co., Ltd.
Period: 2011.7 to 2013.10
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
This residence is located in Shimonoseki City; the western most tip of Honshu- the main island of Japan. The essential theme for this project was to emphasize the fantastic ocean view of Hibiki-nada- the sea close to the Kanmon Strait. As this is a site with strong winds, the building was constructed diagonally to the coastline which allows winds to pass with little or no disturbance. The windows trimming the scenery at various angles allow you to discover the beauty of the sky. Though this offer came from the southern tip of Honshu Island, we were able to build a strong bond with our client and develop a relationship based on trust and mutual understanding.

BLISS

Kanagawa Prefecture Kamakura-shi
Program:Hair salon
Total floor area: 127.12m2
Constructor: Kebukawa Construction
Period: 2013.10 to 2014.3
Photo: Yasuno Sakata
This hair salon "BLISS" is a tenant interior design project on the second floor of the building, located near the Komachi St. in Kamakura. Request from the client is hybrid of 2 main identity in Kamakura, luxury and surf culture, which is a proposed analysis of preference and age group of the target that comes from the client's experience. We set the light effect to enjoy different feeling from natural light in daytime to indirect illumination at night. In the entrance, after walking throw 2 main gate silently on the carpet as a check in high class hotel, counseling and reception counter is placed as if a concierge desk. Next to the counter, waiting space surrounded by white bamboo has a function of a buffer between cut space and lounge space. Between cut space and shampoo space, green screen is installed as a see throw partition, creating the soft atmosphere of the space. We challenged to direct two atmosphere in one space by changing contrast of light effect with material.

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About Us

CUBO Design Architect is an architectural design office led by Hitoshi Saruta, based in Oiso, Kanagawa prefecture in Japan.
We not only design a variety of spaces and structures such as houses, commercial buildings, public building, apartment buildings and flats, but we also do renovations and product and graphic design.
We welcome requests from any part of Japan as well as overseas.

Architect/Founder

Founder : Hitoshi Saruta

1971- He was born in Nagano prefecture
1995- He graduated from Yokohama National University Department of Management. After working as a carpenter and construction manager for a construction company, he engaged in housing and store design at a design office in Kanagawa prefecture. 2004- He established "CUBO Design Architect"
2006- He was the winner of the Good Design Award

Staff

Tomonori Takauchi

Born in August 1986, Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from Tokyo University of Science, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Architecture, and Academy of Art University (USA / San Francisco), Graduate School of Architecture.

Staff

Tomonori Takauchi

Born in August 1992, Tottori, Tottori Prefecture. Graduated from Oita University.

Contact

Contact Information: CUBO design architect

Contact Details

  • cubo@cubod.com
  • TEL : +81-463-74-6932
  • CUBO design architect
  • First-class architect office, No. 324305, registered in Kanagawa prefecture.
    Participating in architect liability insurance.

    661-123 Higashi Koiso, Oiso-machi, Kanagawa-ken 255-0004