When living in a Japanese city, it is not uncommon to spend one’s day going from one small space to another: waking up in a small apartment, going to work in a narrow office, and ending the day in a tiny bar. So when Japanese architects are given a wide lot on which to design a building, what’s more natural than dividing it into four narrow, vertical units? This is the basis for the unique project carried out by Be-Fun Design architects in Matsumaya, Ehime prefecture.
The idea driving the design of SPIRAL house was to create “a house where you can invite friends over” — something pretty unusual in Japan, where space is scarce and people value privacy more than elsewhere. The verticalness of the apartments is actually a clever solution to both of these constraints. It allows for a dedicated living room that is fully separated from the living quarters, protecting the privacy of the owners when guests are around.
If you like the design — and don’t mind going up and down the stairway several times a day — a few units of the SPIRAL house are actually available for rent from 48.000JPY (460USD). You can also have a look at the interview of one of the first resident of the Spiral apartments here.