Editor’s pickFour generations under one timber roof


To have four generations living under one roof is considered a blessing in Asia. 

An old two-storey timber house was renovated to allow four generations of a family to live comfortably in

Architects Tomomi Kito Architect & Associates were tasked to renovate a two-storey timber house in Tokyo built 40 years ago.

The old house would be occupied by a family of four generations, which would need their own space. Accommodating each family member’s daily habits became one of the main priorities of the renovation.  Improving lighting and ventilation was also on the list of priorities as the existing rooms were split into smaller functions and not open to the outside environment or to each other.

Common spaces for the family to interact

Large windows were maximised to allow light in

Windows were taken full advantage of to maximise natural daylight and ventilation. The remaining spaces were designated as shared spaces for the family. The private rooms were also designed to be exchangeable among the members to enhance interaction.

The existing house lacked structural integrity and required additional reinforcements. Redundant columns were also removed, freeing up the area for more open space.

The ceiling of the shared space on the second floor is catenary shaped - enhancing a natural connection to the outside and maximising the diffusion of the natural lighting.

The project was completed in 2017.


All images: Satoshi Shigeta