The Philosopher's Home: S House by Yuusuke Karasawa

Yuusuke Karasawa is an architect talented enough to construct a school of thought - his newly designed split level home of steel and glass nestled in a small prefecture in Japan is a physical embodiment of the owner's "network philosophy."

Sitting amongst the tightly packed brick and mortar structures in Omiya, Japan, Yuusuke Karasawa's S House may seem out of place, but to it's professor owner, the space is a perfect physical description of his life's work and thereby quite a comfy home for him. Made almost entirely of thin, fluoropolymer-painted steel plate and glass, the house emerges from a mind bending network of angles that delineate each "room"  while maintaining an intricately entwined living space.

While the theme of the house is based on the interconnections between humans and nature, the system of scissoring central staircases within are a visceral interpretation of an M.C. Escher drawing.  Visible from everywhere in the house, the short, mirrored staircases create a sense of expansion, hinting at series of levels that one may not necessarily be able to reach in the two story structure.  The split levels and fundamental lack of traditional walls in the interior inform the complex volumes and spatial relationships of the S House.

The twined steel framework on the exterior, reminiscent of a strand of DNA, ingeniously hides the electric and mechanical systems of the house within it's core. On the occasion that any inhabitant may not want to be on display for the neighbors, mirrored polyester privacy curtains can be drawn. The material appears opaque from the outside, but in a voyeuristic flip flop of Rear Window proportions can still be seen through from the inside.

Karasawa set a goal to "recognize a network space purely." With the visual and physical flow found not only within the functionally disparate sections of the home, but also boldly enhanced between interior and exterior, the Tokyo-based architect clearly succeeded in creating a modern marvel of spacial interconnectedness.

Photography by Koichi Torimura