alphaville: W window house alphaville: W window house
sep 17, 2012

alphaville: W window house

‘W-window house’ by alphaville, kyoto, japan image © kei sugino all images courtesy of alphaville




within the high density urban fabric of kyoto, japan, the ‘W-window house’ by kyoto-based practice alphaville maintains a neutral exterior to onlookers but frames ideal outward-looking perspectives for inhabitants. the long and narrow building is carved with two angled notches on the eastern and western facades lined with windows, directing attention towards triangular patios, neighboring gardens and the sky over adjacent rooftops.


inside, floor plates alternate across the footprint and are interconnected with a folding steel plate stairway. dual-toned with white and black, the profile of the risers and treads outline the openings to the rooms when viewed from a different level. spanning seven meters tall, the continuous internal volume produces a chimney effect to ventilate the home in summer and circulate heat during winter.

images © kei sugino

images © kei sugino

images © kei sugino

images © kei sugino

images © kei sugino

images © kei sugino

image © kei sugino

site plan

floor plan / levels 0-3 1. dining room 2. storage 3. bathroom 4. living room 5. bedroom

section 1. dining room 2. storage 3. bathroom 4. living room 5. bedroom




project info:


use: residence site: kyoto, japan site area: 47.6m2 building area: 28.13m2 total floor area: 72.42m2 building scale: 3 stories structure system: steel structural engineer: kazuo takeguchi (AOI structural engineering office photo credit: kei sugino

  • There’s minimal and then there’s Japan!!! Looove the ridiculously efficient use of space! Of course I’d just start filling it all in with STUFF… just random piled on stuff!

    GlowyPR says:
  • Please forgive my previous complaints about the lack of handrails.
    These stairways are so elegant, no one can fall.
    They are Absolutely Bitchrod…

    Dan says:
  • I love the stair design, but it seems like the lack of rails, combined with the staggered floors and hourglass floorplan make for a lot of unusable space. What exactly are you supposed to do with the 5 feet of space next to the sheer drop on every floor? Also, not a house built for anyone who drinks or has children.

    m.rhodes says:

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