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The engineering team put 300 days of difficult trials into the construction process of this imaginative space, designed by SOAR Design Studio. The team worked with the owners of the property to complete a house with a unique flair. The piece went on to win the 2019 Japan Good Design Award, operated by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. Traditional ’rules’ and definitions were cast aside in favour of a new and exciting way of coexisting. Open space, flexible purpose, and vague floor boundaries, were offered in bridging separation of common and private areas. A labyrinth of sorts, navigating both the horizontal and vertical planes.

Photographer: Hey! Cheese  

The ambiguous living room promotes movement and interaction between the inhabitants. Bespoke furniture adds layers of intrigue to the floor plan. A simple bench seat offers a place to pause and read a book, look out onto the garden, lay down for a while, or sit in tandem for a chat.

Transient zones lead to novel interactions. The floating base of the staircase equates to another bench seat, whilst a low landing makes an elevated perch just low enough for comfortable exchanges with the ground floor.

Family life takes place surrounded by the changing of the seasons that tap against vast window panes. Regenerating trees and ephemeral weather shift the mood of the interior.

The interior is full of surprises. Groundbreaking suspension structures allow all private bedrooms to float independently and consecutively above the ground floor.

Free and organic common space on the ground floor is open to possibilities.

The configuration liberalises everyday life, shaping a new philosophy that dissolves public and private bubbles.

Rooms are no longer separated and defined.

There is a simplicity in the industrial style decor of the interior, yet it is full of atmosphere.

A single lounge chair injects modern chic into a small sitting area, situated by an entire wall of bespoke bookcases. A couple of lidded baskets make a convenient storage spot, and stack to serve as a side table too.

A second book stack creates a layered library setup, a room within a room. Small ornaments are interspersed between the tomes. Indoor plants add intervals of life and change.

The steel and wood staircase winds up toward the upper shelves of the made-to-measure bookcase wall. At the top, the treads finally morph into a long mezzanine library, where a watercolour painting marks a peaceful break in the book shelves.

Wood planks have been applied across part of the ceiling space to compliment the natural timber book stacks, as well as to accentuate interesting angles in the architecture.

Concrete flooring runs smoothly through the living space, connecting the library/lounge area with a formal dining setting.

A rattan basket stores linens by the bench seat, easy to grab when needing to chase the chill off.

Vague mezzanine suspensions uniquely interact with the creative and differentiated living space.

The oak wall shelves grow warm character in the industrial space. A rich walnut platform extends from the base of the central tower, a woodgrain island in a sea of concrete.

Internal windows connect concealed volumes with the open common space.

The revolutionary multi-level living environment hangs bedrooms aloft in an independent yet connecting configuration, like treehouses.

Shelves placed along the balustrades establish landing areas as more than mere connective passageways. These rests become living spaces, offering alternative surroundings for study and reflection. Down on the ground floor, plant stands shake up the furniture layout, bringing feathered foliage to sharp edges.

The well-spaced structural system provides a creative way of living for modern families that is a complete departure from traditional architecture.

The floating trait of the upper volumes builds a living space that feels filled with movement and action.

The wooden ‘islands’ of the living room blend with the first floor floating characteristic.

A fissure between two suspended bedrooms cracks open directly above the rectangle dining table. The divide leaves a perfect gap for a dining room suspension light to fall dramatically all the way through.

Scenes of the garden border provide a calming green backdrop for the dining room.

Modern dining chairs flank the table three by three.

A minimalist centrepiece of pure white candles tops the table.

The disc-like dining room pendant light smoothly compliments the curved back dining chair design.

A black and grey kitchen cuts into a background of partially rendered exposed brickwork. A white SMEG fridge freezer blends with the light plaster.

The kitchen run pulls around in a large L-shaped configuration.

Black door and window surrounds frame garden views on three sides of the living room.

Connection with the outdoors prevails upstairs on the mezzanine library, and on to the private bedrooms.

Clerestory windows bring added light into the bathroom, to complement a low window down by a unique sunken bathtub.

Edison bulbs stylise lighting solutions.

Fluidity of space presents unique interplay.

Novel lamps add to the warm glow that subtly emits throughout the house.

Imperfections in the concrete walls only add wabi-sabi beauty.

The place seems to evoke a thirst for knowledge, truth and education. Besides the award winning suspension volumes, it’s the bookstacks and reading nooks that build the most important structure in this home. Technology and TV takes a back seat to all that is on the written page.

Another industrial meets wabi-sabi moment.

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