Don’t Fall Out of This Scary Cliffside Home in Japan
If the vertigo-inducing angles, edges, and man-made drop-offs of this cliffside home are not enough to drive you mad, don’t worry: the dwelling also comes equipped with a diving board jutting midway out its rear facade … with no pool in a sight. KA architects bring elegant simplicity to each of their designs, but the client was the one with a hint of morbid humor in this case.
The approach is almost absurdly minimalist – nothing but a wide-open white-and-concrete patio space with two razor-edged roof planes hovering above with a sharp void between them. There is no transition between the street and this exterior room, and likewise no edge between this rooftop reflecting pool and the sloping site on the far side and below. Narrow corners and white walls enhance the stark contrast of the rigid structure and rolling landscapes beyond it.
Speaking of reflection, this whole home seems designed around ideas of meditation on life … or perhaps death. Moving down through the house, residents are continuously confronted with the same floor-to-ceiling glazed exterior walls that serve as a strange mortality-check. The hills, homes and water in the distance are framed by these voids – beautiful, seductive, but far more dangerous than a simple painting hanging on the wall.
More from the architect
“The house takes advantage of the light and shade contrast produced by the reinforced concrete walls and slabs with openings, and the hight difference created inside of the building volume. Its exterior presents a rough skinned concrete standing up as an artificial mass, which is intentional differed and contrasted with the neutral, neat and clean interior atmosphere. I introduced the coarsely skinned, textured image to the keenly white image that washes out the presence of any objects within. I consider myself that such layered spatial experiences trigger and enable to be aware of the transitional nature, reducing the distance between the nature and the conscious mind of people.”