An indoor basketball court forms the atrium of this family home in eastern Japan by local firm Koizumi Sekkei (+ slideshow).
The architecture and industrial design studio created Basketball Court House for a neighbourhood in Shizuoka, a coastal area that is also home to a cafe featuring road markings by Suppose Design Office and a concrete fish processing plant by Mizuno Architecture Design.
A short flight of steps leads up to the entrance of the gabled two-storey house, leading through to the indoor basketball court that takes the place of an entrance hall.
Rooms surround the wooden court, but are protected from stray balls by sliding doors and metal grilles.
"The layout arrangement of this house is inspired by typical gymnasium layouts, where we have the indoor basketball court planned in the central core of the house, with rooms located on opposite sides of the court," explained Koizumi Sekkei.
The court is one quarter scale but has a standard three-metre-high hoop, which is mounted on the red-brown timber balustrade of an upper gallery that overlooks the court.
The six-metre-tall ceiling is designed to allow space for free throws.
"The house is designed with a unique scale, which makes it hard to define whether the interior space is grand or narrow," said the design team.
A combined kitchen and dining space with wooden cabinetry occupies a narrow strip along one side of the court.
A mesh gate can be pulled across to protect this area from misjudged shots or opened onto the court to increase the space.
On the other side of the court, white sliding doors conceal a bathroom, storage areas and a timber staircase that leads to the upper floor.
The stairwell is lit by a band of glazing that stretches across the building's facade.
"The centre court is also designed to be multi-purpose, with a possibility of becoming a home library, and more possibilities to be explored by the client over time," added the studio.
Pigeon hole-style shelving runs around the outer edge of the gallery, allowing this space to be used for both spectating and storage.
Doorways lead between the shelves into two children's bedrooms above the kitchen and to a master suite and balcony above the ground-floor bathroom.
The rooms are lit by high level windows, maintaining privacy for the family within the overlooked plot.
Project team: Koizumi Sekkei
Contractor: Kuwataka Kensetsu