House in Dazaifu, Japan
The house, which consists of two discrete volumes, is located in a quiet part of town near a Shinto shrine. Access across the steeply sloping site is via a continuous, partly open, partly covered staircase that links and leads through the two structures. The upper of the two volumes is screened off from the outside world by closed external walls. The only view out from its calm spaces is to the sky. In contrast, the lower volume, containing the main living areas, is linked with its surroundings by extensive fenestration. An upward view out is also provided here through a clerestory strip above the free-standing staircase, which resembles a piece of furniture. Its topmost treads are of glass and allow light to penetrate to the space below.