This stairway house gets its name from the huge faux yet functional steel and concrete staircase that passes through its façade. Situated in a serene residential area of Shinjuku, a zone of Tokyo, this three-story home was designed by Design studio Nendo to accommodate three generations of the same family.
Here is SURFACES REPORTER’s complete story on this:
Preserving Old Fruit Tree
The prior property was relatively smaller and timber-framed which was overshadowed by the nearby apartment buildings. While Nendo pushed the construction work to the north to take in daylight, ventilation, and greenery of the yard into the living environment by a large glass front southern facade.
The layout plan made it possible to preserve the existing persimmon tree beloved by the previous generations.
More Accessible Ground Floor
Keeping in mind the potential difficulties of going up and down the stairs, the first floor rooms have been designated to the older couple and their eight cats.
The eight pet cats living with the elderly couple roam in and outdoors more without any trouble, and encourages the mother to enjoy her hobby of gardening more freely. While the second and third floors of the stairway house are for the younger couple and their child.
Purpose of this Stairway
The studio decided to stand a sweeping staircase-like structure that joins every part of the home so that the two parties won’t feel isolated.
This staircase goes from the southern yard and continues upward into the building - from the first to the top floors. The outdoor steps of the stairway are of concrete while steel is used to craft the inside structure.
Nendo said, “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 toplight.”
Bathroom Facilities and Cats Play Room Within the Structure
This stairway is unique in itself as it houses functional elements such as bathrooms, storage cupboards, and an actual staircase hidden inside its steel walls to access the home’s upper floors. It also has a small playroom for the cats.
You can see the tall storage shelves added into the white walls to conceal their important kinds of stuff. The exterior of the building is very simple with no windows.
Greenery Connects Upper and Lower Floors
To induce the feeling of a semi-outdoor greenhouse, there is placed an abundance of leafy potted plants in the staircase that connects the upper and lower floors along a diagonal line.
And the plain, concrete steps, the greenery, and a sun-soaked allow the cats to jump and play throughout the day. This stairway allows three generations to take comfort in each other’s subtle presence.
Nendo is a multidisciplinary design studio that has its offices in Tokyo and Milan.
More Images of the Project:
*Photographs by: Daici Ano, Takumi Ota
*Text Courtesy: Nendo- http://www.nendo.jp
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