We Want This Japanese Home with an Earthquake-Ready Bookshelf for a Kits Laneway

With our city now so laughably unaffordable, thousands of Vancouverites are stuck imagining wonderful homes instead of living in them. Spaced is a record of our minds wandering the world of architecture and design, up and away from the unrewarding realities of shoebox condos, dark basement suites, sweet f~ck all on Craigslist and three levels of government that couldn’t give a damn.

Architect Shinsuke Fujii’s integrated bookshelf design for “House in Shinyoshida”

(via) Bookshelves have a tendency to dominate the households of those besotted by books. This is an inescapable fact for bibliophiles even in the earthquake prone parts of the world, which is why it’s no small wonder that a Japanese architect – Shinsuke Fujii – came up with a clever means of ensuring tomes stick to shelves in the event of a tremor. After the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, Fujii designed the “House in Shinyoshida” — which sees the whole of its western facade slanted so as to accommodate a large, built-in bookcase.

Exterior view of “House in Shinyoshida” with slanted western facade

The slanted bookcase not only invites his book-loving client and his family to physically climb and explore all the shelved titles but also – the thinking goes – keeps the books from falling off the shelves during an earthquake. The slant also creates a feeling of extra space in the house (an invaluable thing given the premium put on square footage in Japan). If we could lift it up from its Yokohama foundation and drop it somewhere in Vancouver, it would be to a laneway somewhere close to the water in Kitsilano.

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