There is modern architecture and there is avant-garde. The S House by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects is clearly the latter, one of the most progressive works of contemporary design of 2014. It is a glass box with an overlapping geometric structure, one inspired by the interfacing of humanity and nature.
The S House by Yuusuke Karasawa is in essence a repeated split-level home, designed with an accordion shape and overlapping interior spaces. It is encased in a clear glass shell, with white ceilings and angled walls providing visual cues of its structure. S House is built for an academic client, one who has spent his years studying the networking of space and nature, and how humans interface with the space around them. The design of this home is a practice in the client’s studies, a philosophical execution of his life’s work.
The home occupies most of its plot, fitting plenty of space in a compact urban environment. It uses height to provide space, totaling over 1,100 square feet on 6 split floors. The top floor features a two-level outdoor patio, a private space where the occupant can enjoy the sights and sounds of Saitama, Japan.
A common concern for glass houses like the S House is a lack of privacy. Much of the home’s interior is viewable from the street, making personal space a premium in this open interior layout. The top levels are largely obscured from view, but there is little keeping the occupant away from a view of the street. This is to be addressed by furniture and a few well-placed privacy walls that make bathing and resting places hidden from view.
Beyond the challenge of privacy and the nature of the home itself, it is a remarkable design. Every level of the home is open to the next, allowing flow between the top and bottom levels without separation. This creates a space that feels larger than it is, with a natural flow that can’t be experienced in most homes. Flow was central to the clients needs, as it relates to their studies of nature and space. It is truly an avante-garde design, one that pushes the envelope for contemporary living. It may not be an universal design for every type of occupant, but it serves its purpose perfectly. [photography: koichi torimura]