I would love someday to face the dilemma that clearly confronted the owner of this extraordinary house in southern Japan: Let’s see here. I can’t decide between a barn and a glass house so, screw it, let’s do both! Ah, rich-people problems.
The 1,000-square-foot house is the handiwork of You Shimada of Kobe-based Tato Architects, and the real story of why it looks the way is does is this: Shimada wanted to design a house that wouldn’t overpower the spectacular surroundings, in a residential area halfway up Mount Rokko, in Hyogo Prefecture. At the same time, he didn’t want to leave his client totally exposed to nosy neighbors.
His solution: Wrap the first story in floor-to-ceiling glass “so that the fine view could be commanded to [its] full extent.” Then for all the ugly, messy facets of daily life–sleeping, showering, and a whole bunch of other things I’d rather not mention–Shimada designed an oversized metal barn and plunked it down on top of the glass house. It’s the pastoral and modernist fantasies rolled into one.