Hiroshima based UID Architects studio was founded in 2003 by Keisuke Maeda – a clever guy who’s been pumping out the goods ever since. Clearly an advocate of designing in section and 3D, every project pushes the boundaries of solid and void, inside and outside, public and private. I think this is what happens when architecture and landscape architecture make babies. High levels of transparency and openness are common themes, with spaces being defined through a combination of varying floor levels, indoor gardens and careful location of openings. The facade compositions are so controlled while facilitating the inventive spatial connections that play on behind. It’s all so integrated it’s hard to say whether these buildings are designed from the inside out or the outside in.

Surely there’s a lot of high fiving happening in this office. It’s as if one genius idea follows another and somehow all the layers of complexity just click into place. It’s just a steady stream of victories.


Pit House, Okayama.

Pit House, Okayama, Japan // UID Architects.

Pit House, Okayama, Japan // UID Architects.

Pit House, Okayama, Japan // UID Architects.

Pit House, Okayama, Japan // UID Architects.

Pit House, Okayama, Japan // UID Architects.

Pit House, Okayama, Japan // UID Architects.

Photos © Nacasa & Partners Inc, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

Moulded as if part of the topography, the ground floor of this family home is raised one metre above the natural ground with the central living space being partly submerged underground. The result? Some trippy views through the underside of the house and a serious blurring of indoor/outdoor boundaries.


Nest, Hiroshima.

Nest, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Nest, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Nest, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Nest, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Nest, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Photos © Hiroshi Ueda, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

Nest is located in the forest and is home to a mother and her two daughters. With privacy being a non-issue, spaces bleed into each other more readily. There are minimal internal walls. Spaces are instead defined through changes in level, including a sunken garden entryway running through the centre of the plan. (In unrelated news, is anyone else unconvinced by the guy “working” in the study?)


Atelier Bisque Doll, Osaka.

Atelier Bisque Doll // UID Architects, Japan.

Atelier Bisque Doll // UID Architects, Japan.

Atelier Bisque Doll // UID Architects, Japan.

Atelier Bisque Doll // UID Architects, Japan.

Photos © Hiroshi Ueda, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

Conceived as part house, part gallery and part atelier, this crisp white facade is composed of a series of horizontal bands which slip over one another. The misalignment creates intermediary spaces between, where different functional zones and inside and outside leak into one another.

I’m particularly enamoured by the trees weaving through the facade. See what I mean about the expertly composed facades?


Machi Building, Hiroshima.

Machi Building, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi Building, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi Building, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi Building, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi Building, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Photos © Hiroshi Ueda, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

An existing commercial building was converted into a family home by introducing new openings within the existing frame. An internal courtyard lets light penetrate the centre of the space and also allows the parents to watch the kiddies from their separate wings.


Machi House, Hiroshima.

Machi House, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi House, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi House, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Machi House, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Photos © Hiroshi Ueda, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

Again, daylight and ventilation were on the agenda for this family home. In order to maintain privacy to this boxed in, inner city site, a crenellated ceiling maximizes the opportunity for clearstory windows.


Mori x Hako, Hiroshima.

Mori x Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Mori x Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Mori x Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Mori x Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Mori x Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Photos © Hiroshi Ueda, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

As a multi-tenanted commercial space, the objective was to give each tenant the same level of amenity within a long and narrow site. UID employ their usual tricks of indoor gardens and careful positioning of openings to nail the brief. The skinny courtyard doesn’t look all too convincing in plan but the photos show how well it has been executed. Seems I’m proven wrong. Socks. Knocked off.


Tsumuji + Hako, Hiroshima.

Tsumuji + Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Tsumuji + Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Tsumuji + Hako, Hiroshima, Japan // UID Architects.

Photos © Hiroshi Ueda, courtesy of UID Architects.

 

A couple and their parents occupy this collection of four pavilions. Connected with covered walkways, courtyard spaces act as both a privacy buffer and a communal space.

-Ella.


[Photography by Hiroshi Ueda, unless otherwise stated. Images via ArchDaily, Archtonic, Designboom, Dezeen & Architizer.]

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