Japanese architecture ranges for elegant to humorous and somber to strange; this bizarre set of stacked housing units is easy to slot in at one end of those scales, dressed to look like individual homes angled and dropped on top of one another. It gets weirder.

One might guess that each individual volume was a single apartment unit, but in fact they are all multi-floor homes that intersect and overlap in odd ways, connected by a series of ladders and staircases woven throughout.

A combination of skylights and windows are interlaced with the rooftops and angular walls, facing in every direction you could imagine from straight up, down and out to various angles in between.

The resulting patchwork provides surprise glimpses within and between the various parts of this piecemeal creation and views back to the outside world.

The stated purpose is complex, and arguably does not add to the experience of the residences … this may be one of those design ideas that you simply have to love or leave. (Photography by?Edmund Sumner; Design by?Sou Fujimoto)