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Usually a deck hangs out past a home and over a patio or open space beneath it – not the other way around. In this strange house plan, the roles are reversed and what looks like a large steel beam (though is an reality a lofted living space) sits above it all, impossibly suspended and overshadowing a gravel lot below.

On this small, split-level hillside site, there is a difference of nine feet (about one standard short residential story) between one side and the other – but concerns about the mid-site retaining wall led the architects to avoid building directly on the upper half, opting instead for this incredible cantilevered structural solution for the more public community spaces of the home plan.

The house wraps up and around from below to overhang the higher-elevation outdoor space, balanced by a heavy concrete base on first floor for balance. Katsuhiro Miyamoto & Associates were not unaware of the likeness the welded seams, projected opening and other architectural features would have to a sea-faring vessel.

Cor-ten steel makes for a weathered industrial appearance on the heavy-looking exterior – a dull red-gray rust effect – while the inside is simple and modern with white walls, ceilings and floors for a contemporary feel.