Privacy is often a tradeoff for the convenience of urban living, but Masao Yahagi Architects made no such compromise in their design of the House in Tatemachi. Located on a narrow lot in Kitakyushu, Japan, the angled three-story house features dramatic cone-shaped openings that provide natural daylighting and ventilation throughout the building. However, the openings are covered with frosted glass and wooden louvers to protect the client's privacy.
Due to the limited lot size, the walls of the House in Tatemachi are angled outwards to maximize the building volume. A triangular, frosted glass window opens up all three floors to natural daylight, while maintaining privacy. The architects also created an inverted cone-shaped void at the center of the building to let in more natural daylight via a rectangular opening in the roof. A series of balconies with metal railings frame the inner courtyard. In contrast to the first large triangular window, the second inverted window uses wooden louvers to block views from the outside.
The master bedroom is located on the first floor, as is a small, light-filled courtyard located at the bottom of the cone-shaped void. A wooden, open-tread staircase connects the three levels along the southern facade. The use of white walls and glass sliding doors inside the home help create a sense of spaciousness in a narrow footprint.
Images via Masao Yahagi Architects