New Kyoto Town House by Alphaville


New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Faceted wooden panels divide the interior of this house in Kyoto, Japan, by architects Alphaville.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

The steel structure allows for an open interior where all floors are visually linked.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

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New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Photographs are by Kei Sugino and K Takeguchi.

The information that follows is from the architects:

New Kyoto Town House

The most characteristic feature of this house is the polyhedral form of the partition walls. They are not made by intuition but are based on logical concepts and perform multiple functions.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

First, the partition walls, normally extended in the vertical and horizontal directions, have multidimensionality and loosely connect the rooms on the three floors.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

The space thus created is one continuous room with dynamic nuances: it is simultaneously spacious and heterogeneous.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Second, the partition walls serve as reflectors of natural light.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

They softly reflect the natural light coming from both the north and south sides and bring it to the otherwise dark interior of the building.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Finally, the partition walls blur the boundary between architecture and furniture, thus stimulating perception and behaviour.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Melt into floors and ceilings, the plywood-finished walls offer enjoyable experiences of touching and passing.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

The house as a whole is a machine for living, like playground equipment.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Influence in Asia

Because of the landscape regulations and the physical context of the neighbourhood, we inherited the traditional form and composition of townhouses. But at the same time, this house overcome the negative aspects of townhouses.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

The wooden structure of townhouses cannot afford to have large openings on the short sides of the building as well as on floors. Consequently, the interior is dark and communications of people are limited to the horizontal direction.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

In this project, it is the steel rigid frame and the polyhedral partition walls that enable to overcome the drawbacks of typical townhouses. Large openings on the walls and the floors, along with the partitions, allow natural light to diffuse multidirectionally, and encourage three dimensional communications and movements.

New Kyoto Town House by ALPHAville

Freed from the constraints of the old system, occupants can have various relations with each other and place, and a new lifestyle in the historical area of Kyoto emerges.

  • don't you feel like you're really in the future when projects like that pops up to real life? amazing!

  • themark

    Exterior…great, a class modern take on the traditional Kyoto facade
    Interior… completely unlivable, unless you love stairs, and falling down them

  • An amazing interior behind a discrete facade.

  • ttt

    I would like to see better use of the walls that surround the stairs.. the sparse empty shelving and airconditioning unit seem like a poor use of space…

  • yeah what's with the air con unit?

  • All the photos center around the stairs. Obviously nothing much else worth mentioning apart from that. This to me is a case of misplaced priorities and making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • QuaQua

    Obviously the objective of this house is the stair. I don't think they need to sleep, or eat. Just go up and down. Um…ok, I guess ;-)

  • Mike

    I agree with the previous two… It seems like an opportunity missed…especially if one goes through the trouble to do such a beautiful stair in the first place.

  • Michael (architect)

    what is being missed may be precisely that: a stair house. A stair that is so carefully and thoughtfully designed that it creates and defines the other spaces.