Without doubt, the owners of this completely transparent house They have an unconventional sense of privacy, because if not, it is not explained that their house is all windows, or rather, that it has no wall. Almost like a modern doll house where you can see the entire interior.
This small detached house of steel and glass, masterfully photographed by Iwan Baan, has been designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Located in a neighborhood modern --in the slightly pejorative sense-- of Tokyo, its extreme transparency was an express desire of the clients, a young couple without children, although it is not the only eccentricity - or genius, as you look at it - of the house.
Already at first glance you can intuit that the building does not have a plant structure to use. It is not an overlapping of floors, one on top of the other, but it is composed of an endless number of small platforms through which it goes up, helped by flights of stairs of a few steps.
This ingenious way of organizing the house is motivated by the small size of the plot, which does not measure more than 30 square meters. If a traditional structure had been chosen, the staircase would have mortgaged the distribution terribly, so as to reduce the useful square meters.
This way, you get make the most of the available space, and although none of the platforms is larger than seven square meters, they combine visually and functionally with each other, creating a very versatile home, whose rooms can be extended and adapted to different uses.
The architect compares it to a tree:
The interesting and intriguing thing about a tree is that the different parts are not hermetically separated, but connected to each other in their own way. One can see from one part to the other, go jumping from branch to branch and have conversations with people who are in other branches. These are the moments of wealth that one finds in such a dense space.
Although at the same time, it recognizes:
I like the spatial composition, organized in small apartments at different levels, but, honestly, this house would be too transparent to be my habitual residence.
Something similar happens to me. The housing organization in that kind of infinite staircase I think it's really really successful, creating a wealth and spatial fluidity that is very difficult to achieve in such a small plot. However, I find it excessively open to the outside, too exposed.
This does not mean that it is a really beautiful house. Its nakedness, revealing the slight metal structure, is an ode to geometry. It has the strange appeal of half-built buildings, when the facade has not yet been placed and its shape is its structure, with its mathematical rhythms and its rationality bound by physics.
I also like how the usual barrier that separates the interior from the exterior has been broken. Not only because of the trivial fact that they are all windows, but because the platforms that act as a terrace are interspersed, superimposed and intermingled with those that are closed, creating a really interesting spatial richness.
I imagine that not many of you would want to live in this completely transparent house, but you will not deny me that he has left you fascinated and intrigued in equal parts, and that if you ever pass through the Japanese capital, you will pay him a visit.
I leave you with a video that shows in detail the whole house, as well as an extensive gallery so you can decide if the transparencies are going or not. By the way, there is a piece of furniture in the house that does not stick or glue in the decoration. Have you seen it?