It seems such a waste when people go to the trouble of hiring an architect only to build a boring or generic home – if you are going to go to all of that trouble, why not include the kind of unique functionality you have always dreamed of?
Be-Fun Design is an aptly-named architecture studio and the mastermind behind this a small-lot, two-story dwelling for a Japanese couple – a pair of clients that, as you might have guessed, lead a rather active lifestyle.
The crown jewel of this simply-titled ‘WareHouse’ is a climbing wall that reaches up above the top story of the house, surrounded by skylights to let indirect daylight filter into the second story and main level below.
A core-and-circumference strategy works its way down in the plan, from these rooftop windows to a wrapping staircase that hugs the exterior walls down to the lower floors.
Combined living, kitchen and dining room spaces thus become one large open central area ringed with circulation, while the hollowed climbing volume above leads up to a roof deck accessible only by a ladder.
“The house is a small two-storey dwelling for a couple in shinagawa-ku. Aiming to create a space that honestly reflected the clients’ activity-driven lifestyle, the design features a vertically-open area that is topped off by a rock-climbing cove. The layout revolves around a central bathroom. The kitchen, living, and dining room ,arranged as one open space, are located on the second floor which opens up to a generous stretch of glazing and terrace.”
“Bands of void space above the staircase ensure natural sunlight to the lower levels of the house. To assure some privacy, the exterior form lends no views of the interior from the street level, however, we maximized the point of contact with the outside to bring natural light and air circulation into the building. Reversaly, it stands as a garden light in the neighborhood from dusk. While sitting through a cityscape where buildings are crawling next to each other, the project plays between privacy and openness to offer an enjoyable living space.”