The Architectural Art of Building on Sloped & Skinny Sites


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The setting could not be more confined, the limitations more complicated, and yet out of a tiny wedge of a lot on the steepest of slopes has emerged an amazing work of architecture by Shuhei Endo that hugs its surroundings but also makes a bold visual statement from within its limited landscape.

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Confined by a Y-shaped intersection on a triangular lot, tucked amidst old and crumbling residences and as narrow as 5 feet at points this lot seems like the last place most architects would want the challenge of building on. Adding to it all: the grade changes 10 feet even over the course of the small site area.

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The genius, then, of such a structure is the ways in which it makes the best out of what seems to be a bad situation. A band of horizontal windows projects the view out farther to the more beautiful distant surroundings rather than industrial adjacencies.

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The retaining wall becomes a comfortable border and item of nearby interest instead. The roof follows the slope and adds a layer of protection, visually holding the building back from falling and connects it to its angular and misshapen surroundings.

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