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It sounds like one of those strange ‘concept designs’ that no one would actually want to live in. In this case, though, the shape was driven not by abstract thought or artistic designer instincts; instead, it is framed by clever daylighting ideas and an ingenious approach to balancing private and public parts of the home.

The design by Japanese architects y+m looks akin to a bunker or armored military vehicle from the outside, especially during the day – ?largely solid and closed off with only a few holes and slits to let light or views in or out.

From the interior, however, the view is quite different: plenty of natural daylight and precise lines of site at each level, as well as crafty natural ventilation opportunities throughout. Suddenly the shape does not seem so strange.

A lofted second story lets the parents (who are also teachers and sometimes have other students over too) keep an eye on their kids but still be able to work with a degree of peace. Likewise, when the children go outside to relax or play, they can still be seen climbing up and down the steps that represent the roof of the house.