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- Nishinomiya-city, Hyogo
This small, three-story wooden house is located on a flagpole lot in a dense residential neighborhood. Building codes relating to setback and the angle of slope on the north side largely determined the shape of the building. The “pole” portion of the lot is only 2 meters wide and normally would be used solely for an approach, but because the lot overall is so small, I made double use of this area by building a pier-like balcony over the path. The open-plan design locates the bedrooms and bathroom on the first floor, the living-dining-kitchen area on the second floor, and a free space with a low ceiling on the third floor. Because the walls of neighboring houses press in on the lot from all sides, I took care to stagger the windows in relation to the windows of these neighboring houses for privacy, but this made the main living space on the second floor somewhat dark. To solve the problem, I inserted several transparent panels in the corrugated roofing and initially planned to guide the light into the second floor via a lightwell, but in such a small home, sacrificing floor space for this purpose was not possible. Instead, I stretched a rope net across an opening in the second-floor ceiling, letting in light while at the same time encouraging active use and communication between floors.