Ring by Apollo Architects
& Associates


Slideshow: the walls of this house in Tokyo by Japanese studio Apollo Architects & Associates stretch outwards around a secret balcony.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Projecting several metres in front of the two-storey house, the extended walls are supported by narrow columns and define the boundaries of a front entrance courtyard.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Narrow vertical windows frame the front door, which leads in towards bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

A cantilevered staircase with tapered treads leads up though the centre of the house to a living and dining room that occupies the entire top floor.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Apollo Architects & Associates have designed a number of interesting houses over the last few years - see a selection of them here.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Photography is by Masao Nishikawa.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

More information from the architects is provided below:


This project started with the plot which locates at a tranquil residential area in west Tokyo. The client is a high school teacher and his wife.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

The first floor with slit windows lays a kids room, a main bedroom and a water area while the 2nd floor resolutely sets a family room with a large opening.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Taking the privacy into consideration, we adopted a court house with entrance attached and the wall encloses the south opening.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

To answer to the coverage ratio, we set a grating balcony which functions as a gentle connection of the 1st and 2nd floor and as a stand to appreciate the view of the symbolized tree.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Making maximum use of the compact plot, the masters cherished modern furniture create lively and dynamic space which cannot be imagined from the outside.

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Credit Information

Architecture: Satoshi Kurosaki/APOLLO Architects & Associates

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Project Outline
Location: Kitayamacho Fuchu city Tokyo

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Date of Completion: March 2012
Principal Use: Private House

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Structure: RC
Site Area: 104.36m2
Total Floor Area: 88.98m2 (40.99m2/1F, 40.99m2/2F)

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Structural Engineer : Kenta Masaki
Mechanical Engineer : Zenei Shimada

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Material Information
Exterior Finish: Lath Mortar

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

Floor: Walnut Flooring & Tile/1F, Walnut Flooring & Tile/2F
Wall: Wall paper
Ceiling: Wall paper

Ring by Apollo Architects & Associates

  • Colonel Pancake

    I want to caress that handrail detailing.

    • xtiaan

      I wouldnt mind giving those treads a stroke, they are pretty wonderful too, lets take them both out on a double date.

  • great zio

    Actually, this perspective angle is lying.

    but I like this project.

  • Salem

    …Those stairs…

    I just creamed my jeans.

  • soma

    wow! looks like architecture really evolved since 1920.

    • Hayden

      and critical review for that matter too !

  • That's the prettiest staircase since I don't know when. It's practically non-existent.

  • Leroy

    doesnt it just defeat the purpose of having a balcony???

    • Colonel Pancake

      Not at all. It allows access to daylight and air without giving the owner the responsibility to conceal himself through blinds. I imagine the area around him isn't very beautiful (like most of suburban Japan) so that privacy is probably more important than the vista of whitish-gray plastic boxes and powerlines.

  • mik

    that cantiliever is a bit silly. it wants to be everything and it ends up being nothing

  • Sensible

    Although a kids' area is claimed in the house, any parent who allows kids on that stair or on the second level should be prosecuted for negligent care. While artsy-fartsy in appearance, it is practically useless. I doubt that those hand rails would even support the weight of a hand.

  • Hubert

    That hand rail is more a hazard than a safety feature. Imagine a punctured skull, pricked chest, lacerated shoulder, poked back…and the list goes on.

  • I LOVE IT – the stairs, the windows – minimal and elegant – make it work .. does it work ??

  • jed_

    amazing views from the balcony.

  • qhsj

    solid plate steel is stronger than you think. as long as those handrails are anchored properly you could sit on them no trouble. Certainly it is not a stair for infants but I think most children can survive a one story fall worst comes to worst. I used to jump of such heights for fun as a kid… We dont have to become the helicopter parents of architecture here.

    • killjoy

      agree with you on the steel but disagree on the assumption you made about falling. landing on your feet is different to landing on your head. this sort of detailing is pretty irresponsible, serious & irreversible injury could result from it.

      architects have a responsibility to ensure their design is safe as well as cool enough for dezeen.

      • lngbrder887

        People have evolved through weeding out people that fall stupidly through holes. It should be at the discretion of the client how they wish to live. Building regs could be avoided by building a temporary ply ballustrade for the building control officer. Then following Practical completion this could be removed by the clients. (if they later have children a glass one could be inserted)

        • killjoy

          ah yeh that's true, humans have evolved to not have accidents – good point.

          • urbanrodeo

            I would hope parents have evolved to look after their kids – we may as well go around putting bubble wrap on all our coffee table corners because goodness knows my niece almost took an eye out on that. Generally, kids are smarter than adults and it's the everyday normal objects which catch them out.

  • Bougie100

    love the staircase/handrails, how do they get around the building regs?!?!

    • killjoy

      building regs for protection from falling are more relaxed in japan – I've seen the same sort of detailing in nightclubs(!?). Yeh it looks cool in houses like this, but you wouldn't feel comfortable having kids or pets in here – one slip and you're in a wheelchair for the rest of your life.

      sorry to be a killjoy but the price of cool detailing like this is injury!

  • Sea Bass

    Oh Deseen…. You've published the most stupid comment of all for this post! (I'm sure the hand rails would support the weight of a hand!) The uninformed, inexperienced author is giggling in delight that he has had his 15 minutes of fame summed up in a blog line. Anyway….

    The metal guage looks like it is 8 – 12 mm (I suspect it's on the higher side). Working with steel and having recently fabricated some handrails myself, I know that these slick puppies are definately 'fit for purpose'. For those not totally familiar with metal….imagine bending metal that is 1.5 thicker than a standard pen (or a CD case)….. it's not going to happen!!

    I love the way this design is stripped down to it's most simplistic elements. (Of course i wouldn't let children anywhere near it….. but kids probably aren't welcome in this house anyway.

    I think this

    • If you are going to criticise other comments, you would do well to read the article in more than a cursory manner first. The house was designed for a teacher and his wife and the design includes a kids' room.

  • elegant..is the word….beauty..and brilliant…work..hats off to the designer…

  • I really like the house, but I agree with Sensible. I can't see children living in this house. If the client's kids are grown, fine, but it's not safe for small children.