Glass Tower House Shares Family Life with the City of Kyoto


A narrow, towering volume faced with one expansive sheet of glazed glass opens a family home to the street in Kyoto, Japan. O House by Hideyuki Nakayama Architecture takes its name from its unusual layout, in which the main living areas encircle the exaggerated tower in a design inspired by lean-to sheds.

One long custom-made curtain provides privacy for the home’s inhabitants when desired and enables them to control the amount of daylight that streams inside. The fabric is slightly translucent, so the house glows like a lantern at night.

The kitchen, dining room, living room and bath area are arranged in a circular design, with additional glass walls letting in sunlight from nearly all angles. This gives visitors a 360-degree view of the main part of the home.

The architect explains that it wasn’t his intention to put the family’s life on display to the adjacent street and nearby homes, but that the glass provides a sort of blurring of private home life and all that goes on outside. “I imagine the sort of new, powerful residents of the house transforming the house into a living space or a cityscape, through the daily lives of the family of four fully utilizing the depth of the extent I tried to produce.”

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