We did a double take when we spotted this home on Design Boom: It looks like a conventional two-story house from the exterior, but inside it's a giant loft.
The clients of Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier asked for a home in Sapporo that could someday accommodate a cafe and large events on the first floor. Instead of segregating the house into two distinct levels, the architects designed an open, double-height atrium, so that the second-floor living quarters overlook the floor below. By using the same plywood paneling for the ceiling and the floors, and leaving the structural beams exposed (adding only the very minimum of interior walls), the architects have created the domestic equivalent of an industrial warehouse: a blank slate for whatever may come. Named the Small Box House, the home looks anything but small.
Photography by Koji Sakai.
Above: Lofts upon lofts: This is the second level of the house; the ground level is below. The bedroom level also has a small mezzanine level, where stepladders provide access to the roof.
Above: From the outside, the house appears to be a simple, modest structure.
Above: Looking down from the second-floor mezzanine to the dining area below, the effect is vertiginous.
Above: The exposed beams and stepladders give the home the feeling of a treehouse, with its sense of play and adventure.
Above: The dining area is where a small cafe may be located in the future.
Above: Eames seating (L) and a spiral staircase (R) underscore the clients' interest in design and architecture.
Above: The understated entrance to the house.