Look ma, no handrails: a house designed for danger

interior of house
© toshiyuki yano via designboom

Designboom presents a lovely wood-lined "Re-slope house" on a sloping site in Kobe, designed by Tomohiro Hata. Call in the handrail police; it is yet another in the series of what have been called deathtrap houses, with none of the protection between levels required in western building codes. Here, it has been done with purpose:

Large skylights open up to the sky and trees, while illuminating the different timber platforms installed with a series of small niches for the large family. Despite the noticeable absence of railings between the levels; the client follows a belief that if every possibility of danger is eliminated from your surroundings, this eventually sets people back on knowing how to overcome the smallest risk. following this concept, Hata established the distinctive interiors which encourages and explores an adventurous and playful spirit.

He is not alone in this kind of thinking; the last time I wrote about a house with no handrails, a commenter noted:

Raimund Abraham used to say that our buildings should be dangerous. his point was that we should to be alert and aware of our environment. To be more present. subways in most cities have no guards and the death rate is quite low. Our codes mean well when it comes to fall protection, especially for flat roofs for fire department access, but it is limiting to choice, and the smoothing over of the world means we can zombie walk looking at our digital world and not engage with the real world.

He has a point; our rules do severely limit choice when it comes to handrails and guards and many other measures. And if it was just adults living here I would say it was their call. But there are children, one who appears to be barely a toddler. This seems to be pushing the envelope a bit for me.

But I do love that plywood and the minimalism of it all, with no handrails to block the view. Lots more images in Designboom.

Look ma, no handrails: a house designed for danger
Should a house be designed to keep you safe or to challenge you?

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