With the potential for being overshadowed by a 4-storey cityscape, Mosaic House extends towards the south sky like a sunflower leaning toward the sun. Architects Takei Nabeshima have engineered a fun and highly creative solution to urban living, bringing the sky directly into the living space. The result is an apparent absence of a distinct roof, or at least, the distinction between wall and roof or skylight is not at all straightforward.
By making ambiguous the accepted straight up-down outline of building, this house dramatically intersects the lines of the street. It also provides a unique solution to car parking - space is found under the arching curve of the street-facing wall.
The house was directly influenced from the specifics of the place, giving the architects the basis for developing the project's unique identity. Mosaic House sits on a tapering corner plot, adjacent to a development area that that permitted higher buildings to be constructed to the south.
There is therefore the potential that higher buildings could cast what the architects refer to as 'cold-looking' shadows across the site. To protect against this the principal living space at the top of the house where exposure to daylight could be maximised. Another factor in the design and a reason for the building's dramatic shape was the location of the car parking space, which had to be given room within the plot.
The first and second floors stretch out over the widest part of the site where just enough space existed for a car. The northerly elevation is extended skywards to a greater extent than that to the south, causing the whole form to stretch towards the light, whilst bending upwards and outwards towards the south. The light is provided by the fully glazed inclined surface that is positioned at the head of the building above the living room, making a 'roofless' house.
The interior is divided into three tiers of accommodation anchored against the southerly wall, to the north the corresponding wall is left fully exposed, and acts as a curved reflector to direct light from the top of the house down to the bottom. In the main living-kitchen-dining room a shade can be drawn to provide protection from the sun to create a fully ventilated and comfortable area within the house. The building works around the needs of the people who live inside it. Externally the smooth walls are coated in ceramic mosaic tiles that further serves to accentuate the movement of light and shade that plays upon the building.