In the nine year existence of Japanese Suppose Design Office they have built more than 50 works of architecture, almost all single-family homes. In Saijo, a town known for it sake, a jet black pyramid unexpectedly stands out; when first seen it seems as if it’s a house from the future. On the contrast, it’s actually inspired by the earliest house in Japanese architecture; the pit dwelling or the “tateana jukyo”. Constructed during the Yayoi era (200 B.C. – 250 A.D.), pit dwellings were built by digging a circular pit (or rectangular one with rounded edges) fifty or sixty centimeters deep and five to seven meters in diameter, then covering it with a steep thatched roof.
According to Makoto Tanijiri, chief architect of Suppose Design Office, the clients, a young couple and their three children wanted a unique house, in which the open public part would preserve privacy. The site which was formerly an open field was excavated and the house was sunk a meter into the ground. The soil from the excavations was used to create a protective barrier around the perimeter of the site, and acted as the organic base of the house. The barrier formed is both visual and physical and was planted to create a lush landscape.