yoshiaki oyabu architects: step well house
original content
aug 01, 2011
yoshiaki oyabu architects: step well house

‘step-well house’ by yoshiaki oyabu architects 
all images courtesy yoshiaki oyabu architects
image © akira itoh

osaka-based practice yoshiaki oyabu architects has shared with us images of ‘step-well house’,
a three-storey private dwelling in a dense residential neighbourhood of japan. situated on a tight
and narrow site measuring 4.2m wide by 12m deep, the design inserts a light well that functions
as a core for circulation as well as a source of natural sunlight for all levels of the house.

interior view
image © akira itoh

with a sole open face to the north, the residence focuses the majority of its sunlight intake to
the back by stretching its height beyond the second-storey structure in the south. a light well
measuring 1m x 3m penetrates through all three levels of the house from the ground floor to
the ceiling. tempered glass is used to make the feature structurally sound. the south wall of
the light well is lined with acrylic mirror and corrugated plastic sheet to ensure a level of
transparency and openness for the tight space. this careful selection of materials also maintains
visual communication between the family members.

tempered glass enables the lightwell to be occupied
image © akira itoh

on each level, the programs are arranged close to the light well to benefit from the natural daylight.
the communal space – living, dining and kitchen –  are placed on the second floor, which sits as
an intermediate level with a meter wide gap to the transparent shaft. this facilitates natural
cross ventilation and a visual connection to the activities on the third floor.

looking up through the light well
image © akira itoh

image © akira itoh

images © akira itoh

image © akira itoh

visual connection through the lightwell
image © akira itoh

image © akira itoh

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yoshiaki oyabu architects (3 articles)

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