A spiral apartment explores what happens when a building is divided by height, not width


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.

30_9 30_8

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.






Pictures by Hiroyuki Hirai


  1. the stairs take up too much space and look dangerous.

  2. It’s an interesting look, and heart-healthy as well. I’d live there.

Comments are closed.

© 2024 Spoon & Tamago

Up ↑

Design by Bento Graphics