A House for a family of four. In this house, a large staircase occupies 1/3 of the space, which stretches across the entire East-West axis central to the site, with the living quarter to the North, and an open sunny garden on the South. This glazed and elongated staircase offers up various views and scenery to its inhabitants.
Within this staircase - a spacious engawa-type space overlooking the garden, a study with a vista to the street, on a sunny day the handrail becomes an extended wash-line, and stair-tread wide enough to sit and relax while listening to the piano from the lower level. A sublime space filled with light and breeze.
The staircase is supported by series of timber columns at 910mm spacing and 16mm steel-rods suspended from the ceiling. 50mm thick timber treads and riser bolted together placed on a steel girder.
At a glance the staircase seems over-scaled for a house of this size, however upon experience it becomes apparent that the staircase not only serves its primary function, but also acts as a mediator of its surrounding environment. Slender yet overlapping columns gently sets apart the living-spaces from the garden and neighbours, the blanket of sunlight is segmented and diffused by the stairs, handrail, hanging rods and other various elements – eventually reaching the living spaces beyond transformed into mellow and ample light.
The entire face of the bedroom on the upper floor facing the staircase is designed as recurring series of folding-doors, to accommodate future division into smaller children’s rooms – directly accessible from the staircase. Ground floor Living room can be opened to the garden wherein children are able to freely run around out into the garden.
Few rooms were actually designed – providing a rich margin for the children’s growth and multiple nuances of possible changes. While vast possibility of change awaits in the future, the existence of this large staircase anchored to the core of the house will be instrumental in both adapting and recording the rich dialogue of life.
1. Kitchen dining tabletop: CORIAN, Product, DuPont
2. Kitchen sink: SHIGERU INDUSTRY
3. Bath sink: Sanwa company
4. Door knob: T-form