A two-family home in a quiet residential area of Tokyo appears more like an art piece than home. Surrounded by regular houses and apartments the Stairway House is a multi generational house with the parents occupying the ground floor and a young family on the upper levels.
Designed by studio Nendo, the architectural volume was pushed to the north to take in daylight, ventilation, and greenery of the yard into the living environment by a large glass front southern façade. The layout plan made it possible to preserve the existing persimmon tree beloved by the previous generations. To avoid the two households being completely separated at the top and bottom, a “stairway-like” structure was designed in the south yard, continuing upward into the building and penetrating the 1st through 3rd floors.
Enclosed inside the “stairway” are functional elements, such as bathrooms and a staircase for actual use, with the upper part taking on the look of a semi-outdoor greenhouse with abundant greenery as well as a sun-soaked perch for the cats to enjoy climbing. And so, a stairway and greenery gently connected the upper and lower floors along a diagonal line, creating a space where all three generations could take comfort in each other’s subtle presence.
Not only does the stairway connect the interior to the yard, or bond one household to another, this structure aims to expand further out to join the environs and the city —connecting the road that extends southward on the ground level, and out into skylight through the top-light.