OSAKA – A house in Osaka, Japan, shouts Japanese vernacular but with a slight adjustment – a 14 degree upper floor rotation.

Architect Kenji Ido of Kenji Architectural Studio started with an existing wooden two-storey house which suffered from lack of light. Dropping the original house but using the same footprint, Ido skewed the upper floor and added large windows to create opportunities for light. Slotted into a dense neighbourhood, space had to be created upwards, so a three-storey residence was formed.

The main request from the occupants, a family of four, was the necessity for light - particularly within the shared spaces (living, dining and kitchen) on the first floor. The ground floor occupies the parent’s bedroom and the upper skewed floor contains the two children’s bedrooms. Above, a roof terrace permits more space, a valuable inclusion given the lateral restrictions either side.

Although it is hardly noticeable from the outside, the 14 degree tilt marks an impressive change in the minimalistic spaces within. Rotated walls create voids capped with skylights, allowing light to penetrate deep into the family room.

‘This inclined wall frees people's feeling by deviation from the norm, simultaneously the sense of touch of the degree of inclination and the light to reflect that inclination causes a new physical sense,’ Ido says.

Other interesting design features include hollow box-shaped cantilevered stairs and a general sense of angulation creates a more interesting narrative within the white box.

Photos courtesy of Yohei Sasakura