Japanese architects continue surprising us, and their creativity seriously has no limits. Designed by Tato Architects, House in Takatsuki is a three-storey building containing 16 different floor levels!
The idea is to create a sense of expansion inside a small house, so that you would find yourself on top of a rooftop in one moment and tucked beneath a floor in another. So, a series of triangular and rectangular platforms create these numerous levels, and the floors gently rise in a spiral, making it easy for people to move up and down the building. There are no staircases – 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 plan the building is a rectangle, nine meters wide and 5.5 meters deep, but with two of its corners missing. Internally, partition walls all run at 45-degree angles to the exterior walls. This divides the layout into a series of triangles and rectangles.
Various furniture elements negotiate the changes in level. For instance, a dining table in the kitchen lines up with the floor of the next level up. Elsewhere, a desk does the same thing. There is also storage slotted in under the floors, a sink located on a floor and a kitchen cabinet that becomes a bookshelf. In total, the house contains 96 square meters of floor space, which includes three bedrooms and a split-level, indoor-outdoor bathroom. At the top of the building, a concrete step and a steel shelf lead up to a multilevel roof terrace.
Externally the house is clad in blackened wood. Wood is also dominant inside the building, as flooring, surfaces, furniture and on exposed structural elements. The building’s entrance is located within a triangular recess that follows the geometry of the interior.