Name: Sharp Cone House by Suppose Design Office
Location: Higashihiroshima, Japan
Upon first glance, the monolithic ebony pyramid shaped residence nicknamed the "sharp cone" by architect Makoto Tanijiri looks something straight out of a science fiction movie, futuristic, if not a little imposing. But in fact, the home's unique shape was derived from a traditional Japanese architectural technique known as tateana jukyo where homes were built sunken into the floor and then covered with a thatched roof. With that information and a look inside, the sunken home's modern reinterpretation of traditional Japanese architecture seems all the more amazing, with communal sections such as the kitchen, living room and dining room located in the bottom sunken level, the second and third levels offering bathrooms and bedrooms, all topped off with a skylight at the top which shines sunlight all the way to the bottom floor.
The views from the sunken area are the most interesting, thanks to a series of lawn barriers built with the soil excavated, providing a view from within, but provide ample privacy from sure would-be curious passerbys (we wonder what the neighbors think). And can you believe this home came in at a paltry $168,606 for a family of five?!
"Making the leftovers into piles around the house guarantees the clients' privacy," Tanijiri says. "It also makes an excellent playground for the children."
"My idea was to make only a roof, not even a building," Tanijiri says. The house's conical shape was simply the structural effect of his decision to extend the roof down 26 feet, but it afforded other benefits. "A square roof will easily collapse, but this triangular principle is much stronger," says Kenji Nawa, the structural engineer who helped Tanijiri execute the concept. "Using less material, we could even make a stronger structure."
And what do the family of five (husband, wife and three small children) think of their unique home?
"From the inside, we have views of the hills, so it feels like I am outside though I am actually in the house," Yukie Takata says. "It gives the house an extraordinary, liberating feeling."