Nestled within a suburban residential area in the Hyogo prefecture in Japan, is the minimalist residence Relation designed by the Osaka-based Tsubasa Iwahashi Architects. Featuring a simple yet striking concrete exterior, Relation present a series of spaces that visually appear connected to each other. The main aim for the project was create a sense of connection between the residents when they are occupying different spaces in the house.
Relation contains two floors but its interior spaces are arranged across multiple internal floors. All the internal spaces of Relation are accessible, and are connected by three different staircases. Overall, Relation is two storeys high and its ground floor is at street level, but the house is slightly recessed in relation to the surrounding residences. The top floor is divided into two levels and contains a hidden storage space under one of its floors and it also features a loft space in one of its corners. A sense of privacy is attained through Relation’s layout of spaces and their distances relative to one another.
Relation by Tsubasa Iwahashi Architects presents a domestic abode that redefine ideas of spatial relations and user privacy
The first set of wooden stairs in Relation allows the user to move from the reception area to the piano room. From there, access to the loft space is provided by a ladder from the multi-purpose library room. This wooden ladder acts as a support and frame for one end of the loft space. In all the internal spaces of Relation, natural lighting is provided through a series of small windows, skylights and larger panoramic windows in the living spaces.
The living spaces and kitchen area of Relation are contained as one continuous open-plan space, on the ground floor. These spaces look out onto a terrace space with a wooden platform, and is accessible through glass doors at one end of the living room space. The bathroom and laundry spaces are nestled away at one end of the living room space, behind a wall of plaster.
Throughout Relation, wood is primarily used for the flooring, as well as the ceiling support beams which are exposed. Furthermore, plywood is used for several of the furniture units, including a large frame that surrounds the piano as well as a series of bookshelves that can be used as screen walls. In addition to this, there are brief golden detailing on the lighting structures and windows.