Functional architecture can take any number of shapes and adopt endless forms. In the case of the Room Room house by Takeshi Hosaka, function takes the form of almost a hundred small windows scattered all over the walls, ceilings and floors of a tiny two-story home in Tokyo.
The home is occupied by two hearing-impaired parents and their two sons. To facilitate communication via sign language – or verbally, in the case of the two non-hearing-impaired children – these 7.9″ square windows are scattered randomly across all surfaces.
The windows do not only allow communication between levels of the house and between outside and inside. They also let in natural light and allow potted plants to grow up from the first level, though the floor of the second level and into the large space there, creating an odd sort of continuity throughout the home.
Although perhaps not as effective as full-size windows at connecting the outdoors and indoors, perhaps that is the goal here. The home is in an exceptionally crowded part of Tokyo on a tiny plot of land. The small windows break up the scene outside and make it into something magical as seen through a hundred tiny 8″ square slices.
The family makes good use of the unusual floor openings, as well: the children sometimes drop small toy cars from the top story to the lower level to catch their parents’ attention.
In addition to the bedrooms on the first level and the large room on the second level, there is a rooftop terrace accessible via a skylight and ladder which adds to the living space of the structure.
Room Room is actually an annex to a family home on an adjoining plot of land which eventually became too small for the three generations living there. As such, this structure has no kitchen facilities; only the second-story living/play area, the two small first-level rooms and a small bathroom.
You might say it is a detached living room built to accommodate an overflow of family, or a retreat that allows the young children to run free without contending with the clutter and furniture in a regular home.
Undoubtedly, the Room Room home is a lovely example of how interiors designed to accommodate differences can be visually striking as well as functional.