Weird Japanese house of the week is totally transparent
OK, I know I shouldn't have the word weird in the title. The last time I did a commenter pointed out that "the writing on this website does show a marked US-centric parochialism" and " the adjective "weird", as it has been used to excess by North American adolescents to denote disapproval of anything that makes them feel uncomfortable, and has thus been rendered unfit for non-pejorative use."
In response I present Yuusuke Karasawa's S-House in Satiama, recently posted on Dezeen. Like most houses, it has a kitchen and a bathroom. That is about where the similarity ends. Where most houses have at least some solid walls and a bit of visual privacy, this house is glazed on all four sides, "so neighbours can see right through the building."
Where some people might consider interior walls to have a useful function for internal privacy and space division, the S-house has none, just a series of interconnected platforms spiralling up to the roof.
Where some might consider a house to be a container for people, serving their daily needs with real physical things, the architect claims that this house "is a response to the increasingly complex nature of information networks like the internet." He is quoted in Dezeen:
Our hope is that this complex, layered network space will become a new architectural form that captures the various activities borne out of today's informational society, where diversity and order are being demanded at the same time.
So here we have an all-glass box that will be impossible to heat or cool economically, where there is zero privacy inside and out, where the master bedroom is hidden in the basement, and where it is so minimal that "Internal fittings were kept to a minimum, although oak flooring and hemp carpet were added to some rooms and white worktops were installed in the kitchen."
I am sorry, but Japanese houses are weird. Lots more photos and plans on Dezeen; see below for more discussion about Japanese houses.