Jun Igarashi's Case house comes
with two twisting staircases

| 20 comments
 

A wooden ladder and a pair of winding steel staircases link the rooms of this lofty house in Sapporo, Japan, by Jun Igarashi Architects (+ slideshow).

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Named Case, the three-storey residence was designed by Japanese firm Jun Igarashi Architects to centre around a family living room with a seven-metre-high ceiling, from which residents can see into almost every other room of the house.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

The first of two lightweight steel staircases curves up from the living room to lead to a wooden mezzanine just below the roof, which can be used as a study, a children's playroom, or simply as a corridor.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Another staircase winds down from this level to a bedroom on a second mezzanine, while a third platform is positioned directly above and can be accessed by climbing a wooden ladder that clips around the edge of the floor.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

All three wooden lofts are connected to ceiling by slender steel rods, which double as supports for handrails that extend around both the floors and the staircases.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

A full-height partition runs along one side of the living room to separate it from the adjacent kitchen, but a large rectangular hole in its centre allows a view into not only this space, but the bedroom and storage level overhead.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Rather than adding simple doorways between rooms on the ground floor, the architects built three curvy corridors that extend out beyond the house's rear wall. One leads to bathroom spaces at the back, while another sits at the end of a long and narrow entrance lobby.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Externally, the house is surrounded by vertical wires that the architects hope will become a framework for climbing plants.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Photography is by Daici Ano.

Here's a short project description from Jun Igarashi Architects:


Case

This house is located on the suburb of the city of Sapporo. The site is a typical suburban subdivision and height difference between the road is large. Footprint isdetermined by building coverage and wall retreat of the architectural law and the slope of the site approach.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

I set the long corridor of entrance as a buffer zone (windbreak room) between the large heat load space.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Because of the site area is small, to set the buffer space into the inside is difficult. So I spread the thoughts and invent the space of growing plant on stainless steel wire around the house as the new type of buffer zone between outside and inside.

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido
Principal use: Private residence
Design period: 2011
Construction period: 2011-2012

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Architects: Jun Igarashi Architects
Structural engineer: Daisuke Hasegawa & Partners
Construction firm: Oooka Industry

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects

Site area: 197.50 sqm
Building area: 50.52 sqm
Total floor area: 80.84 sqm
Number of storeys: 3 above ground
Structure: Timber frame

Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects
Cross section - click for larger image
Case house with two staircases by Jun Igarashi Architects
Floor plans - click for larger image
  • djnn24

    Not sure if I love or hate Japanese architecture.

  • jengy

    Looks like a stylish way to downsize your family.

  • Jon Jorgensen

    What a wonderful day-light space. The open guardrails are too open to think it’s safe for young kids; at the loft with the toys in particular!

    • slem14

      I thought so too at first but when looked at closer you can see the guard rails are glass panels.

      • Giota

        I see no glass panels and no matter how wonderful someone might find it, I couldn’t sleep in that house knowing that my children could have an accident at any time because children tend to run, jump, chase one another, play hide and seek, play ball, wake up in the night etc.

      • Giota

        Also kids sometimes throw things. Imagine a toy on your head from 4 meters high.

      • Douglas Montgomery

        Where’s the reflection?

  • Concerned Citizen

    So, another Japanese house design with no regard for safety. Those spindly pipes are merely for effect, and will not provide the 50 lbs/lineal foot resistance, much less the 300 lb concentrated load.

    And there is the bathroom right in the kitchen.

    And there is only one bedroom. We know there is a kid in the house, and presumably a pair of parents. And only two twin beds are shown in the bedroom.

    • pipo

      Oh god no! It is different from what you are used to living in the west, impossible!

    • zizou

      Japanese sleep together in a room with a one-man flipped-bed.

  • David in Nova Scotia

    Previous posters missed the balusters in the railing, they appear to be thin cable spaced every 4 or 5 inches. The railing’s main uprights are also part of the structural support and are steel under tension, so very strong in spite of how it looks at first.

    There is a wall separating the bathroom from the kitchen, unlike many Japanese homes where there is no clear separation.

    As to the children’s sleeping, perhaps it is a traditional home where sleeping mats are put away every morning, or the beds are for the kids and the couch is a fancy fold out.

  • Martyn

    What a death trap! They need some British building regs!

    • Thomas

      Why? They already have the Japanese building regs.
      BTW, British houses are the coldest, dampest and mouldiest places on the planet.

  • Thomas H Wood

    The inside looks a lot nicer than the outside, however I agree with the argument about safety. There doesn’t seem to be much ‘safe’ space to play in this house.

  • Dylan

    Dezeen, could I kindly request you add a ‘full screen’ option to the slideshows at the top of your articles. It would make studying drawings/ photographs a lot more pleasant and worthwhile.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Safety is universal. It’s a pity you don’t understand.

  • Julia Allan

    Japanese are really exceptional! But I’d like to break all the wooden mood with an armchair like this: http://www.archiexpo.com/prod/de-sede-ag/traditional-leather-club-armchairs-50212-91390.html So cool!

  • E

    Correct me if I am wrong, but this stair was originally beautifully mastered by Sanaa and used in the Shibaura House in Tokyo. I’m not sure why, but the stair here is slightly out of place. Anyone?

  • Christine

    Absolutely not for the faint-hearted!

  • sandra

    The more stupid a nation the more regulations they need. Love the house! Kids are not stupid…