A staircase is typically a utilitarian feature. It take you from one place to another, often with little fanfare. The stairs on this Tokyo house by the prolific Japanese studio Nendo are just the opposite. They beg for attention (and they get it) thanks to their unmissable placement in the center of the house.
Named the Stairway House for obvious reasons, the residence features a glassy facade through which a concrete staircase cuts like an oversized zipper. The staircase stretches from the exterior, through the doorway, and diagonally through the home, connecting the three floors before rising into an impossible incline.
Intended to house two families, the design employs the hulking staircase as a way to subtly connect an older couple living on the ground floor and the young family living on the second and floor floors.
Shown in these photos as a show-stopping plant stand, the staircase obscures an additional function: Hidden within the oversized stairway are the bathrooms and another set of stairs for actually navigating the home.