Japanese House with No Real Rooms or Floors is Equal Parts Scary and Awesome

Japanese House with No Real Rooms or Floors is Equal Parts Scary and Awesome

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Nancy Mitchell
May 11, 2015
(Image credit: Sou Fujimoto Architects)

I had an architecture class in college where the professor was always telling us to 'redefine' things. Redefine the chair! Redefine the trash can! Meaning, break these things down to their essence and then re-create them in some strange and wonderful way. This intriguing structure, which is in fact a home in a Tokyo suburb, redefines the very idea of a building, with wonderful and terrifying results.

(Image credit: Sou Fujimoto Architects)

Run-of-the-mill, garden variety homes have things like 'rooms' and 'floors'. Not this house. This house, inspired by the idea of living in a tree, has living spaces on 21 different levels, staggered throughout the home's approximately three story height. The different floor plates, some of which are separated from each other by glass partitions, create little 'rooms' or moments for living.

(Image credit: Sou Fujimoto Architects)

Some of them blur the line between structure and furniture. If you're sitting on one floor and resting your feet on the level below, are you really sitting on the floor? Or on a piece of furniture? It's a house that's mind-bending in a lot of ways.

(Image credit: Sou Fujimoto Architects)

Here's a floor plan — but perhaps the best way to get an idea of how this house works is to see it in action. You can check out this story on Arch Daily to read more about the house and see more photos, and follow this link to the website of photographer Iwan Ban, who has plenty of photos of the house that show what it looks like in its Tokyo neighborhood, and how its inhabitants live in it every day.

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