House NA Model, Oita, Japan by Sou Fujimoto Architects

The recently built House NA, designed by Sou Fujimoto Architects, is both straightforward, perplexing. The project is straightforward in its transparency and restrained material palette, but perplexing in its shifting levels of spatial arrangement: like living inside a glass and wood puzzle. Faced with a more restricted site and more transparent enclosure, the gradient doesn’t develop the same sophistication.

That said, this house is still a compelling and smart project where the boundaries between inside and out begin to erode while the hierarchy of floors (first floor, second floor, etc) has almost completely dissolved. The photos of the architecture model paired with this video of the completed house, help clarify the house’s organization; plus, the model’s scaled hangers and wooden clothing are an example of an architectural rarity: cuteness. Including details like hangers, pencils and potted plants in the model does more than just look cute though, it helps to neutralize and humanize the project’s unusual form “those could be my hangers!” and shifts how we experience the scale model toward a tangible experience instead of just an intellectual one.

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