The highly innovative pre-fab “Shelf-pod” house in Japan, is built by architect Kazuya Morita and takes from Turkish style, traditional Japanese storehouse Dozou and possibly Tetris. This one-off, private house has been designed around an extensive collection of books on the subject of Islamic history which the owners intend to house. The 557-square-foot home in the Osaka area of Japan has bookshelves on every wall and from floor to ceiling, and can potentially hold up to ten tons of books. The books serve to insulate the house, which is entirely lined with wood from floor to mosque-like ceiling. 39 year old Morita’s Shelf-pod is essentially a five-sided, 947-square-foot house featuring rooms with gardens, sweeping outside views and five arching walls converging to form a peak. Yet he has designed it with urban planning in mind, where space has become a premium and population is increasing.
Each architectural element in this space – stairs, windows, desks, chairs, etc – have been designed on the basis of a 360 x 300 x 300mm shelf scale, creating a lattice, beehive effect that adds to the sense of “cocooning” the house takes its aesthetic from.
The shelving is reportedly strong enough to hang the entire house on, and topically, Morita claims the pod made of red cedar, bamboo, clay and straw is designed to resist earthquake damage. His company Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio is based in Moriguchi City, the capital of Panasonic and its subsidiary Sanyo, but as yet not not an earthquake sufferer like Kyoto has been.
“The Shelf-pod is a harmonious combination of designs from a traditional Japanese storehouse and Kumiko woodcraft schools while using deft touches of Islamic calligraphy and Turkish patterns.”