An off-scale stairway connects and crosses a luminous, theatrical house created by Nendo in Tokyo

An architectural volume with simple geometric lines, a sort of white box set in between the houses and apartment buildings of a quiet residential zone in Tokyo.

Stairway House, designed by the famous Japanese studio Nendo, opens to natural light and air, and to the cool, lush greenery of a courtyard with the southern facade completed glazed, while the other fronts of the building, bordering on other dwellings, are screened off to create a luminous refuge.

A gigantic ‘stairway’ with a sinuous, diagonal shape that connects the various levels of the building up to the roof, crossing the inner rooms and dictating the architectural volume and the functional arrangement.

The architectural design of this two-family house has been shaped to preserve a venerable persimmon tree on the site, a beloved presence for generations. Various green plants punctuate the space, in a situation of indoor-outdoor continuity.

The configuration of the internal spaces is based on the needs of the two families residing in the building. They are connected by an enormous stepped volume that rises to the roof and is grafted into the structure from the outside.

The ‘stairway’ contains functional spaces, such as the bathrooms and an internal flight of steps.

The upper part of the enormous structure takes on the image of a greenhouse packed with flourishing vegetation and ‘bathed’ by the sunlight that enters through the windows. The stairway and the greenery unite the various levels, creating spaces that can be shared by the two families.

The stairway links the internal spaces to the courtyard and unites the two apartments, also extending to visually join the building to its surroundings and the rest of the city: the volume stands out in all its luminosity when seen from the street.