The House in Showa-cho, by Japanese architect Shintaro Fujiwara, is a narrow loft with multiple levels truncated by its alternating staircase. The displacement of each floor is a necessity in enhancing the spatial configuration of the building. The architect wanted to somehow connect the house to its outside environment to produce a more capacious atmosphere, yet maintain privacy. The cross-section construction enhances the visibility of the outside street creating ‘splits’ between each floor.
It is immediately apparent that the architect extensively planned the layout of the house in order to produce the mirage of an interior that is much bigger than what is expected from the limited space. As a result, the large windows and open gaps not only expand the ambience of the home, but showers each floor with an effusion of natural light that only adds to the effect. I never found the appeal in ginormous mansions; if I had the money to choose any home, the House in Showa-cho would suit me perfectly.