House in Chiharada

Reminiscent of a yurt, a white cylindrical house leans towards the traditional Japanese vernacular (light minimalist spaces) but replaces the more customary straight lines with curves.

Japan-based architects Studio Velocity were instructed to design a house for a couple and their two children on a unique site in Japan – next to the children’s grandmother who lives in a more mature dwelling adjacent to the new house.

In a space that was previously used for storage and a garage, the new house challenges traditional housing conventions - having the bedrooms on the ground floor and lifting the living areas to the first. What’s more is that this compact house has not one, but four stairwells which emerge at different heights within the rounded form. These box-shaped insertions divide the spaces and create different levels and areas.

Multiple stairways are a unique component to the house, extending the architect's appeal towards continuous living spaces: ‘By eliminating the discontinuity between multiple floors, you can create a continuous living environment,’ say architects Miho Iwatsuki and Kentaro Kurihara. Windows are placed at different heights within the stairwells, creating opportunities for light and visual connectivity to other spaces. The curvaceous exterior assists the spread of light inside through its reflective persona, promoted by rooflights which allow light to drop into the double height living spaces on the upper floor.

Photos Courtesy Kentaro Kurihara.

*This project was featured in more detail in Mark #40's Perspective section, including an interview with the architects! Click here to subscribe.*

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