Architecture

Transparent S-House leaves little to the imagination

Transparent S-House leaves lit...
The S-House, by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The S-House, by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
View 42 Images
The S-House, by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The S-House, by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
It's located near the Omiya train station in Saitama, Tokyo (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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It's located near the Omiya train station in Saitama, Tokyo (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Exterior shot from street view (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Exterior shot from street view (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The home comprises several levels and half-levels (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The home comprises several levels and half-levels (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Interior shot (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Interior shot (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Even in a city that boasts a higher-than-average proportion of unusual homes, Tokyo's S-House stands out (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Even in a city that boasts a higher-than-average proportion of unusual homes, Tokyo's S-House stands out (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The facade is made up entirely of see-through glass (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The facade is made up entirely of see-through glass (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
It's not for everyone, but it is unique (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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It's not for everyone, but it is unique (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Interior shot (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Interior shot (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The kitchen area (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The kitchen area (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Interior shot (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Interior shot (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Shot of the small rooftop garden (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Shot of the small rooftop garden (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Shot of the small rooftop garden (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Shot of the small rooftop garden (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
It would, at least, save you time showing people around (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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It would, at least, save you time showing people around (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Shot of the small rooftop garden (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Shot of the small rooftop garden (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
There looks to be some interesting storage solutions hidden in plain sight (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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There looks to be some interesting storage solutions hidden in plain sight (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The staircase (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The staircase (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The interior layout is as complicated as it looks (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
View of the nearby houses (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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View of the nearby houses (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
View of the nearby houses (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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View of the nearby houses (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
There looks to be some interesting storage solutions hidden in plain sight (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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There looks to be some interesting storage solutions hidden in plain sight (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The S-House takes up a narrow rectangular plot measuring 50 sq m (538 sq ft) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The several staircases (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The several staircases (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The bathroom is sunk under street level and offers some privacy at least (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The bathroom is sunk under street level and offers some privacy at least (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The bathroom is sunk under street level and offers some privacy at least (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The bathroom is sunk under street level and offers some privacy at least (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Shot of the kitchen (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Shot of the kitchen (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Presumably the home would be soon covered in moths at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Presumably the home would be soon covered in moths at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The S-House at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The S-House at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The home leaves nothing to the imagination (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The home leaves nothing to the imagination (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
The home seems destined to be a one-off (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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The home seems destined to be a one-off (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Exterior shot of the home at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Exterior shot of the home at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
Exterior shot of the home at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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Exterior shot of the home at night (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
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"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate) (Photo: Koichi Torimura)

Even in a city that boasts an above-average proportion of quirky homes, Tokyo's S-House, by Japanese architect Yuusuke Karasawa, stands out from the crowd. Not to be confused with that other S House by Vo Trong Nghia Architects we previously reported on, each of this particular home's facades is made from transparent glass.

Completed earlier this year and located near Omiya train station in Saitama, Tokyo, the S-House takes up a physical footprint of 50 sq m (538 sq ft) in a narrow plot surrounded by other houses. The home's unusual – indeed impractical – design is perhaps best understood as an architect's response to our own post-internet era of limited privacy.

"I'm trying to present [S-House] as a prototype of architectural space suitable for the age of the network and information," explains Karasawa (via Google Translate).

It's not for everyone, but it is unique (Photo: Koichi Torimura)
It's not for everyone, but it is unique (Photo: Koichi Torimura)

Though the occupant would definitely need to be the outgoing type, the master bedroom and bathroom are located in a basement that's sunk a little beneath street level, so aren't quite as subject to prying eyes as its design would suggest.

The rest of the interior, where white is the order of the day, is dominated by several interweaving staircases that must be correctly navigated to gain access to each room on the building's five split levels that spread over two stories, which include a kitchen, guestroom, lounge areas, and rooftop terrace. Indeed, the prospect of trying to work out where the bedroom is after a night on the tiles is enough to make one stick to soda.

Source: Yuusuke Karasawa Architects via Dezeen

4 comments
Robert Walther
Curtains and blinds for privacy, not to mention sparing the neighbors. More appropriate might be opacity controlled windows, If this was built in the open country, it would be down right creepy. Pretty but creepy. There is no way young children could navigate this place without injury. There are no handrails on steps or level breaks. As for the voyeur/exhibitionist's fantasy element, that would make me extra psychotic.
Bob Flint
Well at least someone from the outside will spot the injured, or dead person that has tripped or fallen from exhaustion due to navigating all the useless stairs...
the.other.will
There've been glass walled office buildings around for, what, over 50 years? That's no big deal. The bill for the blinds and/or curtains will be a big deal. Natural light should never be a problem, but ventilation will be due to the lack of windows. The owners will be adding "bridges" to get from 1 side of the house to the other a month after they move in...
sk8dad
Not for heads of state or CEO's of too-big-to-fail banks.