Tsubasa Iwahashi completes Hyōgo house containing three types of staircase

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Tsubasa Iwahashi completes Hyōgo house containing three types of staircase

Behind a simple concrete exterior, this house by Japanese architect Tsubasa Iwahashi contains a complex arrangement of rooms connected by three different kinds of staircase (+ slideshow).

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

Named Relation, the house was designed by Osaka-based Iwahashi to create a series of separate spaces that are visually connected to one another.

The aim is for the resident family to feel connected to one another when occupying different rooms.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

"Wherever they are in the house, they can feel a sign of the family," explained the architect, whose other house designs include one planned around a dining table and another with a stripped-back interior.

"[Residents] are connected to each other, but the house has a moderate sense of distance," he said. "They can spend time together or alone."

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

The property is located in a suburban residential area in Hyōgo Prefecture. It is two storeys high, although its interiors spaces are arranged across multiple floors.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

The ground floor is level with the street, and slightly sunken down from the area to the rear of the site. The upper storey is split into two levels, creating a hidden storage area under one of the floors, and there is also a loft room in one corner.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

The first of the house's three staircases is a traditional set of wooden stairs that extend up from the reception to a piano room.

From here, a more minimal set of wooden treads extends up, supported by a diagonal wooden beam.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

The final climb is provided by a ladder that leads up from a multi-purpose library room to the loft.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

It is also wooden, but has been painted dark grey to allow it to stand out. One of its supports extends out to become the first piece in a series of angular struts, which frame one end of the loft.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

The family's living, dining and kitchen areas are are located in one open-plan space on the ground floor. Glass doors allow residents to open the room out to a wooden terrace platform.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

"On the terrace, the conversation with the neighbours begins, and they will build a relationship with the town," said Iwahashi. "Gradually, the house becomes part of the scenery of the town."

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

A bathroom and laundry area are tucked away on one side of the living space behind a wall of bare plaster. A small niche shaped like a mouse hole creates a space for plug sockets.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

Engineered wooden flooring runs throughout the house, apart from at the entrance, where a sunken tiled surface extends in from outside. Wooden ceiling beams are also exposed in every room.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

Plywood was used to build several furniture elements, including a frame around the piano and a series of bookshelves that double up as screen walls. There are also golden details, both on lighting and windows.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects

Relation was completed in September 2015, and has an overall floor area of 111 square metres.

Photography is by Yoshiro Masuda.

Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by
Site plan – click for larger image
Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects
First floor plan – click for larger image
Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects
Section one – click for larger image
Relation house in Hyogo, Japan by Tsubasa Iwahashi architects
Section two – click for larger image