Anonymous Yokohama homeowners asked Japanese architect Kazuhiko Kishimoto (head of Kanagawa architecture studio acaato design them a house that had both private and public components in a project called Beyond the Hill. “My answer to the requirement was to build the house ‘afloat,’” said Kishimoto

The lowest level of the house has barely any walls so it can function like a gallery for members of the local community. This level features a series of courtyards and wide, staggering staircases that follow the decline of the sloping landscape. There is also a circular hollow cutout that is open to the public for get-togethers. People often have lunch there.

A large, open courtyard sits at the center of the building. Two staircases rise out of this area: one leads up to a small office nestled in the south-east corner of the house, while the other goes up to a private area.

A large dining kitchen is situated right by the entrance to the building. The dining kitchen can be approached from the middle courtyard and has the capacity to seat many visitors. If no one has stopped by, of course, the space functions as the homeowners’ living room.

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[via Denzeen]