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Mimicking the shapes of the surrounding hills, floors sloping up to strategically located windows let light into a basement room and two other levels of this Japanese home while directing views upward beyond the neighboring structures. Takeshi Hosaka architects decided to work with the buried feel of the site, making the entire home feel as if it’s underground without sacrificing natural light and ventilation.

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tilting floors

On the basement level, wood-lined floors curve up to meet high windows on both the east and west sides, bringing in a breeze, with a high ceiling encouraging air flow above the living space. These windows look up at the grassy retaining wall on one end, and a small courtyard on the other.

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A similar layout on the first level directs views up toward the sky. A staircase spirals through an oculus cut into each curving wall to get from one level to the next, also functioning as a skylight. The slope becomes more gradual as you rise, with even the roof following the same shape in a more subtle form, collecting rainwater and carrying it to the ground through a slit on the southern wall.