KYOTO – Located on a quiet corner of a Kyoto housing estate, a concrete house appears inaccessible – but is in fact designed with greater thought towards accessibility for wheelchair users.

Torafu Architects focussed on a design which demonstrates high measures of privacy through a rigid and decidedly opaque outer shell, catering to the client’s request for complete privacy. A concrete perimeter wall with a gabled top surrounds the inset compact house, which shows little openings for prying eyes on the road-side.

Exterior apertures are avoided, but inside open ceilings and a terrace allow light and air to penetrate the central living space. Surrounding functional rooms are given subtle detail – such as varying ceiling heights in every room – to create an original residence.

The ground floor is occupied by a large car park, lift and stairway which lead to the second storey living space. Heights of furniture and fixtures have been lowered to accommodate wheelchair users and these features are also used instead of walls to divide the spaces. Interior materials contrast the external form, creating open, light spaces for the occupants to enjoy.

Photos courtesy of Daici Ano