House Folded by Alphaville


House Folded by Alphaville

Slanted walls pierced by square peepholes bisect this house in Osaka by architects Alphaville.

House Folded by Alphaville

These sloping interior walls create a three storey-high prism, which separates first and second floor living rooms from a contorted staircase.

House Folded by Alphaville

The position of these angled walls creates triangular windows on the concrete exterior of the building, named House Folded, and a wonky ground-floor garage.

House Folded by Alphaville

The house has one bedroom located on the top floor, which leads out to a secluded roof terrace.

House Folded by Alphaville

This isn’t the first house with slanted walls by Japanese architects ALPHAville – see our earlier story about a residence divided by faceted timber panels.

House Folded by Alphaville

Photography is by Kai Nakamura.

House Folded by Alphaville

Here's a more detailed description from Alphaville:

House Folded

This is a 100m2 residence for a couple and their cats located in Osaka, Japan.

House Folded by Alphaville

The typical method for designing a house would assign rectangular rooms with specific functions and lay out them. Such a design produces a series of rooms of similar size and causes monotonous spatial experiences.

House Folded by Alphaville

Our approach was to avoid the conventional design practice and to create a structurally rational but spatially heterogeneous house.

House Folded by Alphaville

On the assumption that there is a human being within the optimal spatial coordinates resulted from the site and living requirements, we used Voronoi line segments that divide equally the shortest distance to create spaces.

House Folded by Alphaville

The actual trial and error involved the full use of 3D-CAD. First, the building's shape was squashed in a parallelogram in order to keep an adequate distance from the site's borders.

House Folded by Alphaville

Second, the center wall was folded to divide the space into two, diagonal to the site on the first floor and parallel to the site on the third floor. Next, the floors were skipped, and the final step was to slope the roof.

House Folded by Alphaville

In this way, various spaces came to be created so that continuous changes can be experienced as one moves along or through the bent wall.

House Folded by Alphaville

The slits on east elevation that run from first to third floor introduces direct light into the space reflecting the folded wall beautifully through the highly rational structure with minimum wall girders.

House Folded by Alphaville

At the same time, the slit on west elevation bring indirect light through the openings from behind the folded wall.

House Folded by Alphaville

Therefore while the space along the folded wall is an interior space filled with direct light, it also has an outdoor- space-like feeling facing folded walls with shining openings reflected by indirect light.

House Folded by Alphaville

We imagined a life in a building situated in a medium-density city where multiple buildings are connected via exterior in a loose relationship among man, building and nature, unlike in a city where each building is confined to each specific site.

House Folded by Alphaville

In that sense, although what we proposed here is a single family house, this design model is also applicable to larger buildings such as collective housings, offices, or multi-use complexes in a rational and versatile way.

House Folded by Alphaville


Use: residence
Site: Osaka, Japan
Site area: 75.93sqm
Building area: 40.00sqm
Total floor area: 102.03sqm

House Folded by Alphaville
Building scale: 3 storeys
Structure system: reinforced concrete construction
Structural engineer: Eisuke Mitsuda (Mitsuda Structural Consultants)

  • Pnar

    may be the idea is interesting; but could it have a colder feeling than this, I wonder… Can one say "Home sweet home" if he lives here…? Nope.

  • JuiceMajor

    Home Sweet Home is subjective…so I am guessing. Yes!

  • Really love it
    So creative and pure !!!

  • Jez

    it's another nice project, but is it me or do you also feel that ALL the japanese projects look ALL the same? I feel like I've seen this one hundreds time before in dezeen already!

  • Ibbale

    I think it's cold because it's completely empty… You can see only glass, cement and plaster. I like it, it's so brutal

  • Gollumpus

    Why do I think of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" when lookiing at these images?


    • Ibbale

      It's the same thing I tought

  • locottus

    A new house and already hounted by a woman in white… creepy!!!

  • and also thousand projects with pitched roof, and what?… every project has a lot of interesting things…. someone can see it or can't.

  • Awesome! I love the cement, wood and white colors together.

  • Leiurus

    As other projects from these architects I've seen on Dezeen, it is visually interesting but I can't help thinking about the waste of space. Urban houses in Japan have such small footprints, I think attention should be given to use of available space rather than fancy design (Waro Kishi, where are you?) but hey, I'm not the client after all.

    • Bassel

      I love the Voronoi diagram concept , maybe just because I'm a sucker for spaces with non-rectilinear geometry. But with skewed trapezoidal surfaces you get longer edges, thus the illusion of distance and forced-perspective emerges, which is perfect for such a small plot.

  • Juan

    I do wonder where is the drain at the top, I just see the ramp and imagine the water flowing down there during the rain, would look awesome actually, just hope it wont get inside =p

    Perhaps those shapes don't help with the space inside, but they do make a great environment imho.

  • NLM

    Origami Architecture…beautiful.

  • nidge

    do the owners have a trapezoidal shaped car?

  • lisko

    "BIG in Japan." :)

  • the cats can slide on the walls-whoheee!!!!

  • Divya Arnot

    very interesting…but I see this as functionality vs creativity…even though the architects have done their best to use all the space available to them to the maximum potential, some could question the formation of negative space in the house, a result of doing something out of the box! But then again, the design is impressive, and you always gain some and lose some…! Great Work!

  • ben wong

    I like this house. I see shadow and building interact nicely. Triangle face created from folding wall making space feel bigger. This is a good solution to treat small building area.

  • turtle

    Jez, you’re a dude. Totally agree. Another white box from Japan. Why do they feel the need to push the boundaries. Some lessons from Glenn Murcutt wouldn’t go astray.