Stairway House is situated in a quiet residential pocket of Shinjuku, a ward of Tokyo known for its neon-lit buildings, bustling streets and vibrant nightlife scene.
The three-storey home is designed to accommodate three generations of the same family. It replaces a smaller, timber-framed property that had become overshadowed by surrounding apartment buildings.
Nendo constructed the new house in a brighter spot at the northern end of the site, being careful to preserve a mature persimmon-fruit tree that was planted by previous occupants.
The more accessible ground floor has been designated to the older couple in the family and their eight pet cats, while the upper two floors of the house have been given to the younger couple and their child.
Some of the glazed panels in the gridded facade can also be pushed back to fill the interior with fresh air.