Chunky concrete stair spirals through home in Japan by Kazunori Fujimoto

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Chunky concrete staircase spirals through House in Akitsu by Kazunori Fujimoto

A concrete staircase spirals between the austere concrete floors of this house designed by Kazunori Fujimoto Architect & Associates for a seaside spot in Japan's Hiroshima Prefecture.

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The 92.5-square-metre residence named House in Akitsu is located on a small peninsula near the city of Higashihiroshima, where it faces the scenic Seto Inland Sea.

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Two concrete cubes intersect to form the body of the building, which stands on a matching concrete platform.

A broad flight of steps leads up to the building's raised entrance, while further steps cantilever from the facade of this first block. These lead up to a roof terrace where residents can soak in more of the sea views.

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"The most interesting challenge for this project was to create a comfortable inside silence combined with a new atmosphere of openness," said the architects.

"The use of a polish concrete finish for the living room and the kitchen floor became important in order to give an additional value to the external light."

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Inside, the concrete construction is left exposed and polished to reflect daylight that floods the sparsely furnished spaces through generous windows.

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The split-level spaces are connected by short flights, while a tall guardless staircase made from cast concrete twists its way between bedrooms located in the base of the structure and living spaces placed across the upper floor.

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"The first floor is slightly buried and its ceiling was set lower rather than the living room in order to achieve a more private and cosy feeling," explained the architects. "Here resides a very special concrete spiral staircase."

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"The thickness of the supporting slab becomes invisible to its outer and inner end and it was designed in order to avoid any necessity of a central pillar."

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Japanese architect Kazunori Fujimoto and his firm have designed a string of concrete houses, including another overlooking the Seto Inland Sea. This residence features a barrel-vaulted roof, which spans an inner courtyard.

Photography is by Kazunori Fujimoto.


Project credits:

Architects: Kazunori Fujimoto Architect & Associates (Kazunori Fujimoto, François Nahory)
Structural engineer: Nishi Structural Consultants
Construction Team: Nakahara Kensetsu

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