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Life in Spiral by Hideaki Takayanagi

By Holly von Huene


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Japanese architect Hideaki Takayanagi has completed the Life in Spiral.

Completed in 2012, this contemporary home features an extensive use of glass walls. It is located in Tokyo, Japan.

Life in Spiral by Hideaki Takayanagi:

“1. What is the main concept of this house?
The main concept is “A Spiral Porch in tokyo” -challenging to open (or close) the privacy to urban environment. The “Porch {Engawa/縁側: in Japanese}” was essential to traditional Japanese house, therefore it is one of the most nostalgic space for all. Recently in Tokyo(JPN), lands for build some architecture are very expensive. And therefore that made us give up to create the “porch”.

So we decided to create the brand-new Engawa. Very narrow site forced to form 3-dimensional (spiral shaped) engawa structure. But this was a nice idea to create engawa outside of this ribbon. The ribbon makes shade and shadow in inside and outside. And each floor slabs, spirals, end roof are entirely made from steel plate T=4.5mm. So this house is very light weight to be supple for earthquake. No thick columns needed, all parts configure supple and strong mono-coque body. And notably, only the craftsman skilled welding of steel ship could build this house!

2. What urban statement does the house make?
Gradual mediation, relationship and serendipity configured between urban environment and the image of dwellings.

3. With an entire skin made of glass, how can the residents obtain enough privacy?
This house has four floors. Each floors settled a half submerged from the other buildings. From inside and outside, both sight (or view) never met. And full-equipped variable vertical shutters obtain enough privacy. Therefore you can have window (or wall) anywhere you want. This causes the relationship and serendipity to everyday life.

4. Who are the clients (name, age, profession, hobbies), and how do they use this house?
The client is designer, just for live and use as SOHO.

5. What do the clients like best about their new home? (eg. favourite place in the house)
Everything :-D (especially the engawa spiral stairs room)

6. Did their lifestyle change after moving in this house?
Family ties getting more strong.

7. What make this house a comfortable place to live according to you?
You can get the chance to build comfortable life-style from many many cerendip-activities of the city Through the spiral “Engawa”.”

Photos by: Takumi Ota

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About Holly von Huene

Holly is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She has written for HomeDSGN for more than 3 years and contributed architecture, interior design and lifestyle content for a number of other publications, including DesignBoom, Apartment Therapy and ArchDaily. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

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