This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture

Kunihiko Matsuba set out to turn the 'standard concept' of two-storey buildings on its head

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The Independent Culture

Japan has a rich heritage in architecture, a flair for using modern technology and a well-deserved place at the cutting-edge of the design world.

But you don’t need to know about any of that to appreciate this incredible creation by Kunihiko Matsuba.

Set the fairly mundane challenge of building a dental clinic with a garage and somewhere to live upstairs, the promising young architect went for what he describes as the “farthest [thing] from the standard concept of two-storey buildings”.

While the garage and clinic and fairly ordinary – if pristine – white blocks, the house above looks like it is suspended between the two at an unstable angle.

Balanced on the edge of two rooftops, it forms its own covered walkway between the other two units – and is itself accessible via a white staircase that looks like it has descended from a spaceship.

Kunihiko Matsuba told the magazine Dezeen: "The buildings look like a set of building blocks piled up to the brink of collapsing.

“We designed the house so that one of its ends barely stayed on the edge of the garage and the other on the edge of the dental clinic.”

Nothing is left to chance, with the smooth façade lit up at night using inset LEDs. “The surface of both inside and outside walls are illuminated by soft, linear rays of light,” Matsuba said.

For more stunning Japanese houses, visit