Architectural group Suga Atelier managed to do a rather spectacular thing with a project they call House S: they put a cave in the middle of bustling Osaka.
House S is a beautifully constructed concrete and plywood home that incorporates some of the best parts of nature into its design. From the outside, the home looks rather like a natural cave. Its graceful natural shape brings to mind the face of a stone cliff, interrupted only by a wooden door and a single tall window.
The home was built on a rather unusual triangular lot which is surrounded on all sides by roads. Thanks to the building’s vulnerable position in the midst of all this traffic, the architects bypassed the inclusion of typical windows. Instead, the home’s narrowest point is punctuated with a narrow wall of glass, allowing for a certain amount of natural light to enter from that point.
The main source of natural light, however, is the home’s spectacular central atrium. The void passes from the very top of the house to the very lowest level, providing the perfect avenue for rainwater.
The water collects in a basin in the home’s garage, which is the lowest level of the building. Before it gets there, however, it passes by a pair of benches meant just for resting and watching the weather from the perfect vantage point offered by the atrium.
All of the home’s concrete walls were shaped using plywood forms. After the concrete dried, the plywood forms were used to create other parts of the building, including internal walls, floors and work surfaces in the kitchen. Other surfaces in the home are lined with white plastic panels which were created from recycled plastic bottles.
The home’s plastic surfaces, concrete walls and natural soundproofing all contribute to the cave-like feeling. This feeling is expanded by the open floor plan and lack of traditional furniture. Instead of chairs and tables, the home’s interior is dotted with furniture-like fixtures and plenty of comfy nooks in which to hunker down and enjoy a good book or a great conversation.