This house in Toyota, Japan, is an unusual take on an open-plan house. Instead of expanding outwards, Japanese architect Katsutoshi Sasaki designed his personal residence in to stretch upwards.
It’s not for the claustrophobic (or acrophobic)—the tall sliver of a building is just five feet wide in some places and has few windows aside from a series of clerestory windows that wrap the house.
What the house lacks in width, though, it makes up for in height. Sasaki designed the home around series of plywood platforms that open onto a main atrium space reaching 26 feet tall. Without doors, the rooms look like a series of cut-aways that reveal what any given person is doing at a particular time.
A sequence of staircases leads from one level to the next, winding a precarious path through the wooden interior. The vertical layout allows for some interesting, if tight, uses of space. A series of desks are built into the walls on one level, creating a group work nook. Plants dangle off the edge of the platforms, which gives the space an open-air effect.