A unique architecture practice located in Osaka city of Japan, Fujiwaramuro architects is a studio that strives to create interesting and enjoyable spaces with great views. Established by Shintaro Fujiwara and Yoshio Muro in 2002, Fujiwaramuro architects specialize in designing small custom-built houses, garage houses, and vacation homes.

One of the earlier projects designed by the firm was the Tiny House in Konohana. Located in Osaka in a dense residential neighborhood, the client required the house to be bright and well ventilated which appeared to be a task in the tight neighborhood. To bring the natural light inside, the architects designed a 2.5m wide light well in the center of the house where also a tree was planted surrounded by glass walls. All the various functional spaces such as the bathroom, living room, kitchen, bedroom, and children’s room garage area are tied together around the light well, which acts as a visually playful element and makes the house feel spacious. The light well is a very powerful element of the plan and plays the role of a focal point of the design, not to mention the important practical aspect it fulfills by bringing in light and ventilation.

Into the architectural studio of FujiwaraMuro Architects - Sheet1
Tiny house in Konohana_© FujiwaraMuro Architects

The firm’s projects, usually small houses located in neighborhoods with dense fabrics, have a certain aspect in common; their ability to maintain the privacy of the user while at the same time maintaining a connection with the surroundings. Be it a view of the park on the opposite side of the road or the view of the street, the architects make sure that the house gets a view that is central to the design. Another characteristic of the studio’s designs that make them one of a kind is their attention to incorporating natural light in the designs. Each house no matter how small the area is or how narrow the plot has some source of natural light integrated into its design through light wells, skylights, and other similar elements.

The design proceeding of the firm is such that there is constant communication between the clients and the architects from the start. Initially, basic drawings are produced based on the requirements of functional spaces and other specifications put forward by the clients such as the number and size of the room, basic flow line, privacy requirement, use of the site, etc. The architects take into account even the smallest casual details placed as requirements by the client and deeply value nuances and sensibility. The studio also designs furniture and lighting as per requirements and circumstances.  The procedure of the design varies as per the request of each client but the architects usually design the house right from the overall shell to the smallest detail. The two architects have years of experience and propose an interesting space while emphasizing dialogue and accepting the surrounding circumstances that can only be established there.

Another interesting project by the studio is the House in Kawachinagano completed in 2011 in the city of Osaka. The project started with the search for appropriate land. The client was a person who valued her relationship with nature very much and did not want any windows built on the side of the road. A straightforward concept could be formulated for the design of the house which was “a house that opens up to the forest.” To honor the relationship between the house and nature the architects proceeded with designing a semi-outdoor, large deck space entering the house. The large roof over the deck makes the expanse of the inside and outside even more ambiguous, opening up to the forest to an extent that the boundaries could not be seen. The open living room and atrium allow the user to feel a closer connection to the forest. The layout of the rooms in the plan is such that each room gets a view of the forest. The kitchen, living room, and dining room are arranged in a triangular shape to bring the family closer together. Since there are windows in the façade, the outer wall was finished in green to blend in with the wilderness, as white or gray would have given a sense of oppression to the surrounding environment. The house overlooks a beautiful vista, with a water body and the woods on the opposite shore, a space where the client could experience the joys of everyday life overlooking the view. The free space, which runs the center of the house, is also a space where people can gather to eat and relax around a fireplace.

Into the architectural studio of FujiwaraMuro Architects - Sheet2
House in Kawachinagano_©Toshiyuki Yano
House in Kawachinagano_©Toshiyuki Yano

The studio always attempts to create interesting spaces, an experience like no other, and one that fits the life, lifestyle, and image of the person who uses it. Architects are constantly searching for new ways of thinking and unique ideas that will lead to a new era, aiming far beyond what is called “good architecture.”  A unique worldview, details, and the materials that support it are inseparable. They believe that architecture creates spaces and spaces create scenery. The scenery is experience and memory. Even if there is completion in architecture, there is no completion in space. The scenery that the space shows changes with people, time, and nature, and although it is never complete, it is completed in moment-to-moment experiences and memories. We create a space where the scenery changes its expression and melts gently into your memory.


  1. Available at: https://aplan.jp/works/kawachinagano/?category=housen (Accessed: November 2, 2022). 
  2. Yano  T. (2013) archdaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/345866/house-in-kawachinagano-fujiwarramuro-architects (Accessed: November 2, 2022). 
  3. Yano  T. (2013) archdaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/345866/house-in-kawachinagano-fujiwarramuro-architects (Accessed: November 2, 2022). 

An architect and a poetry fanatic with immense interest in art and architectural theory, Amisha believes that architecture can be the tool for social change. She is all for designing spaces that tell a story and writing stories that describe the poetics of spaces.