Look ma, no handrails: can you carry minimalism too far?

landings and kitchen
© Hiroyasu Sakaguchi via ArchDaily

A few years ago I asked Why are Japanese houses so weird? and you don't want to read the comments; I am evidently a xenophobic American. But the fact is, many of them are (I followed up with the reasons here). I have also called some of them deathtraps, like this one with the climbing wall designed to maim.

lookign down © Hiroyasu Sakaguchi via ArchDaily

Now Dornob shows what they call the Ninja House, which is actually the T House, designed by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects and shown on ArchDaily a few years ago. It is both weird and a deathtrap all at once.

stair to dining room© Hiroyasu Sakaguchi via ArchDaily

It has multiple levels connected from grade to the kitchen and dining level by a freestanding stair with no handrails, that appears to stop short of the actual floor, which then connects by ladders to the living room and the bedrooms. If you have to go to the bathroom in the night, be prepared for a climb; it's way down at the entry level.

According to Dornob,

The clients, who commissioned the architects to creatively renovate their 750-square-foot urban space on an irregular lot, refer to their residence as ‘ninja house,’ saying living there has required them to become more nimble, but they haven’t yet fallen through any of the brazenly rail-free gaps.

stair T House© Hiroyasu Sakaguchi via ArchDaily

So, why is this on TreeHugger? Because I love minimalism, I have Kondomaried my sock drawers, I often complain about the handrail police who don't make any allowance for creativity and individual choice. But perhaps this is an example of taking all these ideas just a bit too far.

multi levels© Hiroyasu Sakaguchi via ArchDaily

Tags: Japan | Less Is More | Living With Less

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