Akihisa Hirata designed an ingenious S-shaped residence on a narrow site in Japan. Developed vertically, this unusual family home has a simple rectangular exterior shape. All the interiors wrap around a massive stairway supported by three pillars, which leads the way towards the top floor. The rest of the design elements almost seem to fade away visually when associated with this center wooden spiral.

The entire house is a mix of twists and turns and looks more like a labyrinth than a common family home. But with all the steps and unexpected curving, children are likely to fall in love with this space and spend plenty of time discovering it. We particularly like the creative shelving system- a simple and practical idea, making each of the exhibited objects easy to reach. Various windows pierce the white walls, ensuring a good flow of natural light throughout- a must-have feature in a home with so many things to stumble on.