This family home in Japan has been set on a small site that encouraged the designers to built upwards. Located in the district of Taito in Tokyo, the area is known for its many old wooden houses and historical temples. The architects have attempted to capture and recreate some of this atmosphere with this modern home.
The building has been designed by a local firm called Onishimaki + Hyakudayuki Architects. The project was completed in 2011 and is now home to a growing family. Without any direct access to the street, the house “looks like a secret garden” and is accessed by an enclosed “alleyway”.
Titled the “Double Helix House” because of its spiralling staircase, the property features four levels giving it a total floor area of 947 square feet (88 square meters). From the architects: “There are 2 simple elements, a white core and an alley-like corridor winding up around it.”
The “white core” is responsible for housing the living areas. The first level contains a kitchen and dining area and connects to the entrance corridor. The next level up features bedroom with a series of built in closets. Throughout each level a small exterior deck is etched out from the staircase.
The third floor features a living room with a cozy bathroom and a daybed. The daybed actually forms part of the spiralling staircase, leading up to the final floor – the rooftop terrace. Throughout its height the staircase has been used to create smaller spaces, like a library and study area.
Large windows are used throughout, helping to maintain a light and airy atmosphere. From the architects: “The composition of this house is quite simple, however once you step inside, you can feel its lightness, darkness, narrowness, width and even the speed of your step.”