Located in a quiet residential area of Tokyo, Stairway House sits on a site with other apartment buildings and houses pressing around. This two-family home is designed by Nendo with an architectural volume that pushes to the north and a layout plan to preserve the existing persimmon tree. The “stairway-like” structure connects the house interior to the yard and also bonds one household to another, supported by some functional elements of the house.
The architectural volume can take in daylight, ventilation, and also allows the greenery of the yard to enter into the living environment by a large glass front southern façade of the house. The existing persimmon tree beloved by the previous generations can be preserved with a layout plan that has been made. The architect also considers the difficulties of going up and down the stairs, so the rooms for an older couple are placed on the first floor.
There are eight cats living with the older couple. They can roam in and outdoors freely and also encourage the mother to do and enjoy her hobby of gardening. While the younger couple and their child live on the second and third floors. The “stairway-like” structure is designed in the south yard to avoid the two households being separated at the top and bottom. This structure also penetrates the first floor through the third floor.
The functional elements of the house are enclosed inside the “stairway”, such as a staircase and bathrooms for actual use with an actual part that takes on a semi-outdoor greenhouse look. This greenhouse has abundant greenery and a sun-soaked perch for the cats. The upper and lower floors along a diagonal line are connected by a stairway and greenery.
The connection between the lower and upper floors can create a house space where all three generations can feel comfortable in each other’s subtle presence. The aim of the house structure is to expand further out to join the city and environments. This structure also connects the road on the ground level that extends southward and out through the toplights into the skylight.
Photographers: Daici Ano and Takumi Ota