On Many Levels: House in Miyamoto by Tato Architects
Architect: Tato Architects
Location: Osaka (JP)
From outside, the building is a sleek rectangle whose floor space measures just under 5 x 12 metres. It avoids disappearing into the metropolitan jungle by rising about 7 metres; it is accessed via a narrow path from the southwest. The house is built of a steel-frame construction and covered in grey, vertically seamed façades. A regular arrangement of windows and the entrance on the southeast face complete the simple look.
The interior design takes the concept of openness to a new realm. As requested by the client, there are no delimited areas or built-in fittings. The entire interior develops as a spatial continuum for which Tato Architects developed a steel structure comprising 13 platforms. These are at various heights and are connected by small stairways. Some are on stilts, while others have been hung with rods from the ceiling. Altogether, they have an airy character. The levels jut in from the side walls and are arranged in a spiral sequence. Most of the levels are triangular: only a few encompass the entire width of the house and offer space for the kitchen counter and bedrooms. The upper portion features two platforms that function as small outdoor terraces thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing.
From below, the constructive elements are exposed and clearly visible. Platforms and walls are painted white. Pale-grey flooring complements the light-coloured surfaces. The material concept is rounded out by the small wooden stairways. The simple architectural frames, which the architects from Tato describe as “echo chambers”, are slowly being filled with the residents’ belongings. The inner workings of the House in Miyamoto project reveal a shifting, somewhat bizarre image expressed by the small family’s open, communal lifestyle. In fact, the house does entirely without intimacy as it is commonly understood.