Japanese architects surprise us again and again and there are no limits to their creativity. The house in Takatsuki designed by Tato Architects is a three-story building with 16 different floors!
The idea is to create a sense of expansion in a small house so that in one moment you are on one roof and in another you are hidden under a floor. A series of triangular and rectangular platforms form these numerous levels, and the floors rise gently in a spiral so that people can easily move up and down the building. There are no stairs – instead, residents walk over wooden blocks, shelves and other pieces of furniture to move between the different levels.
Shimada describes the interior as a functional cave, although the layout actually has a very strict geometry. In the plan, the building is a rectangle, nine meters wide and 5.5 meters deep, but two of its corners are missing. Internally, partitions all run at a 45 degree angle to the exterior walls. This divides the layout into a series of triangles and rectangles.
Different furniture elements negotiate the level changes. For example, a dining table in the kitchen aligns with the floor of the next level. Elsewhere, a desk does the same thing. There’s also under-floor storage, a sink on the floor, and a kitchen cabinet that turns into a bookcase. The house has a total of 96 square meters of floor space, including three bedrooms and a bathroom on two levels, both indoors and outdoors. At the top of the building, a concrete step and steel shelf lead to a multi-storey roof terrace.
The outside of the house is clad with blackened wood. Wood also dominates within the building, such as floors, surfaces, furniture and exposed structural elements. The entrance to the building is located in a triangular recess that follows the geometry of the interior.