Circulation
pro
g
ression, ascen
t
connection,
revo
l
utions, reac
h
,
movemen
t
, passa
g
e
,
seq
u
ence
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86 Small Environments
Kazuyo Sejima & Associates, Small House,
Tokyo, Japan
Visible through the transparent rear façade
of the structure, the spiral staircase within
an open steel frame organizes and unifi es the
spaces of this house. Each fl oor was designed
independently and stacked out of alignment
with the one above or below it.  e proxim-
ity of nearby buildings and the privileging of
certain views and orientations determined
these variations—a nimble solution to the
puzzle of distributing the program vertically.
e stair’s placement within each space is
thus deliberate:  e design generates order
from the interior core, an inversion of the
typical urban building, where the interior
is formed by the act of enclosure. Although
the circulation core serves as the building’s
central spinal column, the delicacy of its ele-
ments makes it almost disappear at night.
Above e open steel shaft that surrounds
the folded metal stair is painted white.  e
outer steel skeleton, a much more refi ned
tubular structure, also white, supports the
concrete fl oors at the perimeter.  e exte-
rior walls, which cant upward or downward
at varying angles on each face of the room,
echo the spiraling path through the house:
Ascending or descending, the inhabitants ex-
perience a constantly changing environment.
bedroom
terrace bathroom
living room
extra room
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87
Above and Left Each level of this miniature
tower for a couple with children is devoted
to a diff erent aspect of the program, and its
size varies accordingly, with the main level,
which accommodates the living, dining, and
kitchen functions, given the greatest height
and width.  roughout, the circulation and
structure—almost pure geometric form—are
exposed to the surrounding room to retain
the clarity of the space.
bathroom
living room
extra room
bedroom
parking
Circulation
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SB-08A-SMA.tif
88 Small Environments
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