A new way of building houses, developed by Japanese architect Kiyoshi Kasai, uses no pillars, contains lots of built-in storage and is seismically resistant. ‘Wooden Box 212’ solves two big problems in designing houses for Japan: tiny lots, and the constant risk of damaging earthquakes. This design uses wood almost exclusively, but enables large spaces free of columns and partitions.
Dense trusses clad with wood make up sturdy, seismic-resistant shear walls along the sides of the building, so the front and rear can be designed as desired with lots of glass for natural light and whatever architectural details the homeowner desires.
The trusses are ganged together in a series and clad with structural plywood so that lateral motion is spread along many components, which are able to maintain their integrity. The entire structure can be made from 2×12 lumber, including both columns and beams. Any cut-offs are used to create shelving, virtually eliminating waste.
The result is a contemporary home with an open feel and tons of shelving and niches for decor and personal belongings. See lots more photos at Core 77.