Welcome to our gallery featuring the Slit house, a truly unique creation by Eastern Design Office in Shiga, Japan.
The exterior of this house, as you may guess from the name, is defined by slits. Without exterior windows, the 105 meter wall with 60 slits surrounds the site, realizing a profoundly different approach to architecture.
This conceptual sculpting by concrete slits is worlds apart from glass-heavy contemporary architecture. The concept of defining a structure by slits directly inspired the architecture. This minimalist method distinguishes the outline of the entire residence, obscuring and abstracting the home’s shape.
The site is located in an old city in Japan, in a neighborhood with many private homes standing in rows. One of two narrow frontages faces a street, while the other faces a river.
The designers crafted a long wall enclosing this lengthy, narrow site. The slits visually pry open this enclosure. The 140mm width slits protect the resident’s privacy from outside view, while allowing light into the house.
This was the main idea: a method for living in dense residential Japan, where houses stand side by side, pairing natural light with privacy. In the words of the designers themselves, “This architecture has a silent ambiance just like in the midst of solitary jar and a poetic clearness as like in an endless spatiality.” The slits hint at endless possibility with their minimalist charm.
Exterior wall bends sharply at the corners, with greenery placed strategically throughout the outside space.
The curved, monolithic appearance of the walls are neatly broken up by both vertical and angled slits.
A perfect example of the intention behind the slits: a wide array of light filters in through a small opening, granting ample brightness for a minimal surface area.
Lengthy hallway in the home, with light natural hardwood flooring contrasting with the cold appearance of the concrete. Closer to noon, the slits allow light to play across the floor in brief bursts.
The slits subtly illuminate the entire hallway, floor to ceiling, requiring zero energy at daytime
A different hallway as seen further from noon, with lines of light crawling up the interior wall. Concrete flooring meets grey tiles in this part of the home.
Here the interior privacy wall opens up toward the enclosed patio space. Exterior slits and nearby home are seen in the distance.
Notice the interplay of light from the opposing slits in the lengthy hallway. Throughout the entire space, sharp illumination comes directly from the sun-facing side, while a gentle glow comes from the opposite.
Close view of the natural hardwood flooring highlights the interplay of light from different angles. The sharp lines and soft glows work together to illuminate the home.
Looking through one of the diagonal slits, we see the lawn and exterior privacy wall.
Here is a softer area of the home, with bamboo flooring and dark wood dresser standing near one of the slits in the home itself, filled with glass and cutting into the ceiling.
The homeowner is seen practicing ikebana, the art of flower arranging, in a private area of the home. Soft dark natural wood tones on the wall and ceiling stand over light hardwood flooring and more of the bamboo area mat.
Close view of a small wind chime hanging in the bedroom, with slits at right reaching into the ceiling space to help illumination throughout the day.
The minimalist decor pairs well with the home itself. Here we see dark wood dresser and lighter, smaller wood dresser flanked by two slits, pouring sunlight into the home.
Gazing skyward through the exterior slit wall, we see how the irregular angles and spacing grant an organic feel to the angular design.
Another upward facing shot of the wall. The neighboring homes are barely visible through the slits.
This vertical view showcases the curved end of the exterior privacy wall, and an entrance toward the home itself.
The interior home wall at right fills the slits in with glass, for a window-like effect, allowing sunlight in but keeping a draft out.
Pulling back a bit, we can see the organic curve of the home, perfectly punctuated by the slits.
As seen here, at night the privacy of the home is maintained, allowing a minimal view from outside.
One final glance through an exterior slit toward the yard and beyond.
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