Bringing the Outdoors In: A Unique 'Garden House' in Tokyo

Most of us think of a house as a set of walls that contain an interior space. But on a tiny lot in Japan, architect Ryue Nishizawa has designed a house that blurs the distinction between indoors and out. Almost all the exterior walls have been replaced with glass panels, railings, and curtains to create a strange, wonderful garden-house hybrid.

The house is spread out over five stories, with furniture and plants co-mingling at each level. There's a kitchen on the first level, a bedroom on the second and fourth levels, and a bathroom on the third. In its playful use of space and willful disregard of tradition notions of 'inside' and 'outside', it reminds me less of any house I've ever seen than of the fanciful structures I used to build with Legos as a kid.

What do you think? I'm not sure I'd want to live in a place like this year-round...but I bet you could have some amazing garden parties.

For more photos and floorplans, visit Today and Tomorrow and Domus.

Images: Domus, via Today and Tomorrow.