House of 33 Years

House of 33 Years

2010-2011 Design of a house (150sqm)
by Assistant / Megumi Matsubara & Hiroi Ariyama


The elderly couple decided to move to a new house, 33 years after living in their first house that they bought when they got a child. ‘The House of 33 Years’ located next to Todaiji Temple is where the couple’s future and memory co-reside in a way that humans and ghosts coexist.

The house consists of three elements; a classic-station-building like big house that wraps up the memories of the family, a small house structured with multiple frames in different scales, and the gap space between those two houses.

While a simple everyday life is lived in the small house, objects or activities that become distant from the daily life spread into the gap and find their places. As the house consists of multiple frames, the spread-out objects and activities are framed and images will collide with each other. Walking in the house, the inhabitants will constantly meet fragments of memories as inevitable as natural light falling in.

The big house looking like a station-building open towards Todaiji Temple from the front road is the external box of the multi-layered Chinese box that contain smaller frames of images. The relic of the big house is also to accept and respond to the landscape law governed by the historical nature of the site.

‘The House of 33 Years’ is a collector’s home whose collection is memories. Any image will be given its place in this house and overlaps with each other like never-ending architectural extension and rebuilding. The memories of the family will be constantly renewed, spread out from the translucent house and fade into the passing of time in Nara.