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A cup of tea with... P E R S I M M O N H I L L S a r c h i t e c t s

Yusuke Kakinoki and Shuhei Hirooka form the Persimmon Hills architects studio.

We met them for their Lightwell project in Habikino, which immediately struck us for the witty cohabitation solution of two different generations in a traditional Japanese house undergoing a complete renovation.

Since the work was carried out by unqualified personnel (students and locals), the construction technique has been simplified as much as possible to allow non-technical personnel to operate in safety and tranquility, also using easily available materials.


Let's start with the first question to break the ice: How do you get your tea?

We don't usually drink tea. We prefer to drink other types of drinks.

To this day, what do you think is your most significant and representative work of your design approach? Is there a project that you consider emblematic to tell who are you?

This is a project to create a new temple called Hoseiin Kannon-do.

Originally, Japanese temples should have played various roles in the area, but in modern times they are simply places to pray.

The priest of this temple thought that the survival of the temple itself would be in jeopardy because the depopulation is progressing and the religious beliefs of the Japanese people are becoming weaker.

Therefore, we decided to create a new Kannon-do that is open to the community, and will send various activities starting from the temple to the community.

In addition to prayers to Kannon and religious activities such as sutra copying, vocal music troupes perform concerts, yoga, and voluntary activities by local residents such as Marche are continued.

In this place, I want to do something like this, I want to use it like this. I have come to want to create a state that evokes such an urge and a state in which a wide variety of interpretations are made that are not tied to one use. And that leads to "architecture for those who live in that place".

Persimmon Hills Architect_ Hoseiin Kannon-do. Photo ©Kai Nakamura e ©Persimmon Hills Architect

What do you think is a decisive project (of others) for your professional career? Who do you consider your teacher or an important reference for your work?

It's not an architectural project, but a book, but it's a book called "Teaching of the Village" written by Japanese architect Hiroshi Hara. This book was a classroom material for the first year we entered university. For us, it was an introduction to the world of architecture. Since it is a book written through a survey of villages around the world, it contains the wisdom learned from "architecture for people living in that place". Since we started from there, we are still thinking about "architecture for people who live in that place."

What will be the direction for the future of Japanese home architecture? Climate change, the aging of the population, the evolution of our daily habits due to the pandemic, which changes can affect the living spaces of tomorrow and how?

Consideration for the environment is still underdeveloped in Japan, but the law will be strengthened steadily in the future.

It is expected that the number of vacant houses will increase due to the declining birthrate and aging population, and the area of housing per person will gradually increase. And as the pandemic is beginning to merge living and working, the functionality and scale required of a home should increase. These two things will change the future residential construction. In the first place, Japanese houses a long time ago were not only places to live, but also places to accept various other things. They were subdivided by modernization. As the times change, the demands placed on housing will become more diverse.


P E R S I M M O N H I L L S a r c h i t e c t s

Yusuke Kakinoki

1986 Born in Hirakata City, Osaka Prefecture

2008 Graduated Bachelor of Kansai Univ.

2009-2016 MOUNT FUJI ARCHITECTS STUDIO, chief architect

2016 Established PERSIMMON HILLS architects

Shuhei Hirooka

1985 Born in Habikino City, Osaka Prefecture

2008 Graduated Bachelor of Kansai Univ.

2010 Graduated Master of Y-GSA.

2011-2014 SUEP,architect

2015-2016 TAISEI CORPORATION,architect

2016 PERSIMMON HILLS architects


Kanagawa:〒210-0833 神奈川県川崎市川崎区桜本1-3-15

Tokyo:〒166-0003 東京都杉並区高円寺南2-45-18

Osaka:〒573-0065 大阪府枚方市出口5-13-9 mail: URL:

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