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NENDO’S STAIRWAY HOUSE

An Interjecting, Functional Volume Within One Family's Home In Tokyo

June, 2020
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota

With a monolithic presence, a white-coated steel structure sits nestled in the heart of Tokyo, with an interjecting volume of concrete stairs. Designed by Tokyo design studio NENDO, led by Oki Sato, the three-storey private residence is home to three generations of a family and is located in a quiet residential area of Shinjuku.

As one of NENDO’s most prominent architectural designs, the striking structure features a large glass facade with a “stairway-like” interjecting volume that continues upward into the building and penetrating the first, second and third floors. Enclosed inside the “stairway” are functional elements, such as bathrooms and a staircase for actual use, concluding at the top with a skylight allowing natural light. The stairway design feature was intended to connect the upper and lower floors along a diagonal line, creating a space where all three generations could enjoy each other’s subtle presence. As NENDO noted on the project, “Not only does the stairway connect the interior to the yard, or bond one household to another, this structure aims to expand further out to join the environs and the city —connecting the road that extends southward on the ground level, and out into skylight through the toplight.”

NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Takumi Ota

Text: Joanna Kawecki
Images: Daici Ano / Takumi Ota 

NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
NENDO, Stairway House, Tokyo, Japan | Photo: Daici Ano
June, 2020