Friday, February 25, 2011

Just Slide Over Here

The slide house in scenic, treeless Tokyo.
     Why walk when you can slide?  That is the poignant question posed by the good folks at Yahoo! News when they were discussing a recently completed house in the Nakameguro district of Tokyo.  That is because architects have designed it with a slide.  Oh and a tiny central courtyard that appears to be filled with colorful plastic balls.
     This house is as ingenious as it is cool.  It is three stories, with a garage contained in the first floor, and all of the living quarters are in the middle.  The stairs wrap around the one side of the house on the outside, and the slide goes down the other side (See diagram below, courtesy Yahoo! News).  I understand that if you are like me and you love having lots of windows and natural light in your home, you are thinking this is bunk.  If all of the living quarters are on the interior portions of the house there isn't going to be a lot of natural light coming in.  And to a certain degree you are totally correct.  But for the design there is still a fair amount of windows, and besides, if you look at the picture, I am not sure you'd want a whole lot of windows in the thing anyway.  There just seems to be a lot of drab homes and concrete in the neighborhood anyway, and who wants to look outside on a neighborhood that looks like an industrial park or the underside of a freeway viaduct?
Diagram of the innovative slide house.
     So it is pretty cool.  I don't know a whole lot about Tokyo, and I don't know a whole lot about Japan, but I have the sort of idea that these people have some scratch.  First of all, there seems to be a lot of features built into this house for the children, which is fine I suppose, but I would guess that would limit your potential buyers for the future, but whatever.  I guess they don't care about retail value, although I have to say that if I had enough money and needed a house in Japan, I'd buy the slide house in a heartbeat.  Another reason is that it has a sort of crazy modern minimalist feel to it that young, wealthy people seem to like, with little in the way of furniture and dark wood floors with a lot of white everywhere else.
     Also, Japanese real estate is fucking expensive, and a house that innovative could not have been cheap to design, unless of course the owner is an architect and did the designing himself.  That is a distinct possibility I suppose.  But real estate there is so expensive that there are hotels in Japan that are sort of more like lockers at the bus station where you climb in and there is just enough room to sleep and it is like you are sleeping in a torpedo tube or something.  So you could imagine how much it cost to erect this little Pee-Wee's playhouse of greatness.
     If you haven't already, you should take a look at the little slide show linked above.  It is pretty neat.  And it is very original.  I mean, it's a house with a slide for Christ's sake.  I just wonder how you clean it...

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