W-Window House
by Alphaville


This shimmering steel house in Kyoto by Japanese architects Alphaville towers above its vernacular neighbours.

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Triangular cut-aways create light wells on two opposite sides of the building, where all the windows are lined up on top of one another.

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Inside the house are three split-level storeys, connected by paper-like stairs with white surfaces and black undersides.

W-Window House by ALPHAville

"The sunlight shifts from east to west, the wind blows through from the first floor to the third floor and all the noise from outside, all the discontinuous context is transformed by simple architecture," explain architects Kentaro Takeguchi and Asako Yamamoto.

W-Window House by ALPHAville

See more projects by Alphaville here, including a house with slanted walls and square peepholes.

W-Window House by ALPHAville

See more Japanese houses on Dezeen »

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Photography is by Kei Sugino.

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Here's a few project details from the architects:

W-Window House

Use: residence
Site: Kyoto, Japan

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Site area: 47.6m2
Building area: 28.13m2
Total floor area: 72.42m2

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Building scale: 3 stories
Structure system: steel
Structural engineer: Kazuo Takeguchi (AOI Structural Engineering Office Co.Ltd)

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Isometric diagram

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Structural diagram

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Plans (1. Dining Room, 2. Storage, 3. Bathroom, 4. Living room, 5. Bedroom)

W-Window House by ALPHAville

Section (1. Dining Room, 2. Storage, 3. Bathroom, 4. Living room, 5. Bedroom)

W-Window House by ALPHAville


  • unknown

    Why are there no building regulations in Japan? It gets cold there too… So much for the Kyoto agreement.

  • Juliano

    No grandma, no kids allowed.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Yet another example of Japanese disdain for basic safety needs. But there is something new here, too: windows to encourage peeping on the neighbors.

    The architects claim that the noise of the streets do not enter through the same openings that allow air in. Don’t believe it. All in all, this residence is a failure.

  • Rafel

    They want to shorten their life expectancy.

  • Some Guy

    Well I think it's pretty cool. But I'm new to this website, so my tastes haven't become tainted with pretense yet.

    • Dave Gronlie

      It's not a question of "cool". I do like a number of aspects of this house.

      However, would you like to live beside this house? Would you care to have the front of your house facing into those windows which we see in these photos?

      The steel facing does not fit with the rest of the neighborhood. Whether or not the neighborhood needs a face-lift is a whole different question.

      The interior is not up to safety standards which are employed elsewhere. I would recommend to the owners that they take out a LOT of accident insurance.


      PS – does the lack of doors in this place extend to the privy as well?

  • dezy

    No balustrades, no nothing. Is this epitome of Kamikaze syndrome in Japan?

  • Harpa

    And walking through one bedroom to get to another.

  • When you visit Japan be sure to notice 3 things:

    1. Low-rise complexes with single occupant tax dodger

    2. Increasing numbers of homeless children and women with no access to health and welfare benefits. Well, they have no affordable housing, so how can the government that mandates laws support homeless children and women?

    3. Obsolete Buddhist temples and surrounding grounds, which should be converted to public housing centers. The general public no longer believes in this hooligan sect religion.

  • The aluminum facade feels like a shiny “F#$% yOU!” to the rest of the neighbors.