In earthquake-prone Japan, a wall full of books might seem like a disaster waiting to happen. Rather than capitulate to Mother Nature however, the owners of this Yokohama home found a way to safely put their massive library of books on full display without fear of collapse. Shinsuke Fujii Architects designed the Bookshelf House that features angled earthquake-resistant bookshelves easily accessible by children and the elderly without a ladder.
Slotted in a dense Yokohama neighborhood, the roughly 930-square-foot Bookshelf House stands out from its neighbors with its black oblique walls clad in standing seam metal and set atop a concrete base. The slanted wall also helps shield the recessed entrance from rain. For privacy, windows are minimized, particularly on the lower levels.
In contrast to its dark exterior, the interior is lined in light-colored timber. The front of the home is filled with natural light and features a sunken dining area next to the bookshelf wall, the kitchen, and pantry. The master bedroom and bathroom are placed at the rear of the home. Stairs lead up to a living room and small office space as well as a secondary bedroom and small glass-walled terrace.
“The horizontal shelf functions to prevent buckling of 4 m long pillars,” wrote the architects. “From the viewpoint of a safe bookshelf, a new relationship of housing – structure – bookshelf has been created.”
Images © Tsukui Teruaki