In architecture as in the rest of life, what you see isn’t necessarily all that there is. The Case House in Sapporo, Hokkaido in Japan is a stunning example of this philosophy. The home, designed by Jun Igarishi Architects, is deceptively simple on the outside but bright and playful on the inside.
The exterior of the home is clad in clean white panels punctuated with small square windows. Both the panels and the windows get successively smaller as they get closer to the ground. Wires run from the ground to the top of the house to the ground, inviting plants to wind around them as the years pass. Eventually, the home’s facade will be partially obscured by living greenery.
Inside, the home is filled with light, curves and multiple levels that draw the eye all around. Multiple steel spiral staircases connect the ground level to several loft spaces. By separating the home’s zones in this way rather than putting floors and walls between each area, the home’s interior feels comfortably and logically segmented.
Despite the logic, it manages to remain playful and exudes the kind of fun personality that just begs to be explored. The areas which are closed in tend to be short hallways, featuring either exciting curves or a glimpse of whatever awaits the traveler at the end.
One of the most drop-dead beautiful pieces in the home is the floor-to-ceiling bookcase in the living area which terminates at the bottom of one of the loft areas. The bookcase provides ample storage in a minimal amount of floor space, leaving the living area free for the residents’ children to play and explore this wonderland-like abode.
“I set the long corridor of entrance as a buffer zone (windbreak room) between the large heat load space,” says the architect. “Because of the site area is small, to set the buffer space into the inside is difficult. So I spread the thoughts and invent the space of growing plant on Stainless Steel Wire around the house as the new type of buffer zone between outside and inside.”