If a roof is angled sharply enough, it becomes a wall. Such is the case in 8.5 House, a 940-square-foot home by Tokyo-based architects DOG that grows upwards to a razor’s edge. The vertical design makes room enough for a painter, his wife, their child, his wife’s mother, and the painter’s studio.
An exhibition wall for the painter’s work cuts a diagonal across the home’s rectangular footprint, and stretches upwards nearly to the roof’s peak. This transforms the home’s entrance into a double-height, foyer-esque gallery space. A trapezoidal glass facade and doors let passersby peer into the studio space from the street. Two bedrooms and a storage area are tucked behind the wall on the street level, and a living space, dining area, and kitchen perch directly above at the top of the staircase.
The home itself is sculptural, and carries the artful past of the historic route upon which it sits. “It’s the owner’s spin on The Fifty Three Stations of the Tokaido,” explain the architects, pointing at a series of renowned woodblock prints by famed 19th-century Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige. He once wandered Tokaido road by foot, gathering inspiration from his travels along the route.