Interactive floor plan: Clover House, Japan

A classic slice of Japanese house design
The Clover House by Katsuhiro Miyamoto: a classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity to a restrictive site
(Image credit: james silverman)

The Clover House represents a classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity to a restrictive site with an unconventional internal layout. Designed by Katsuhiro Miyamoto (opens in new tab), the house is named for the clover-shaped element at the heart of the square site plan.

Made up of a recently excavated basement level, beneath a glass-box roof, the house has generous over 4m-high ceilings. Within this central atrium space sits the clover, a flowing ribbon of wall that subdivides the interior into a series of small functional cells - a bathroom, study and kitchen – as well as a small staircase leading up to a mezzanine. The curved walls extend upward to act as a balustrade for this upper-level space, which also benefits from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the glass box.

The architect cites traditional Chinese underground houses as his architectural reference, pointing out that the 'loft alcoves' created by the leaves of the clover make ideal private, well-screened-off bedrooms that fully maximise the space on this small site.

The Clover House by Katsuhiro Miyamoto: a classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity to a restrictive site

A classic slice of Japanese house design


(Image credit: james silverman)

A classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity


(Image credit: james silverman)

a classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity

(Image credit: james silverman)

lobby area of a classic slice of Japanese house design

(Image credit: james silverman)

Dinning area of a classic slice of Japanese house design

(Image credit: james silverman)

Inside area of A classic slice of Japanese house design

(Image credit: james silverman)

Kithen area of a classic slice of Japanese house design

(Image credit: james silverman)

Staircase of a classic slice of Japanese house design

(Image credit: james silverman)

A classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity to a restrictive site

(Image credit: james silverman)

Inside View of a classic slice of Japanese house design, bringing spatial ingenuity to a restrictive site

(Image credit: james silverman)

Unique design of a classic slice of Japanese house

(Image credit: james silverman)

Enterance area of a classic slice of Japanese house design

(Image credit: james silverman)

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.