One Floor Up: Design From Above, Curated by Yellowtrace


Photographic images  are nothing new – there a number of notable examples that deal with cities, communities and larger areas which document our life, or our impact on the planet etc. But when it comes to images of buildings and/ or interiors taken from above, these are much more rare. I admit – it is an unusual way to document a space, although it provides an incredibly effective insight. With a single shot, so much can be conveyed. It’s an intimate and an almost voyeuristic way to experience a room or a building.

Interior Designers and Architects spend so much time working with floor-plans. They are one of our primary tools of communication – possibly the most important one. For me, experiencing rooms through a photography lens that communicates a single-point-perspective of a space is almost like looking at a realised floor-plan that’s come to life. Except, in this case, a usually 2D floor-plan is infused with the all important third dimension that completes the picture. If you’re a designer, perhaps next time you’re working with a floor-plan (or looking at one), you could extrude it in your mind and start imagining the complete space – One Floor Up.


Related Post: Architectural Voyeurism.
See More ‘Stories on Design’ Curated by Yellowtrace.



Me & You by Jack Tew // I must admit, this video isn’t strictly on-topic, abut I find it so charming and couldn’t resist posting. London-based director  is the man behind this compelling short film about a short love story that tracks a young couple from their first date through to the heartbreaking end, shot entirely from above. 


FIKA by ON Design Partners in Tokyo | Yellowtrace
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FIKA by in Tokyo // Designed by ON design partners, FIKA is a home that converts into a weekend shop selling scandinavian collectibles. Separated by a full-height white shelving unit, the shop and the home merge into a single space creating a unique and intimate shopping experience.

Read the full article & see more images here.


4n House by ninkipen! | Yellowtrace
Photo by Hiroki Kawata.


4n House by // This family house in Nara, Japan, is raised up on pilotis and residents have to enter using a staircase beneath the floor. The site had previously been split into two levels with a retaining wall in between. Rather than levelling the ground, the architects decided to create a hill and position the house above it.


Casa DCS by Giuseppe Gurrieri & Valentina Giampiccolo | Yellowtrace

Casa DCS by Giuseppe Gurrieri Valentina Giampiccolo | Yellowtrace
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Casa DCS by & Valentina Giampiccolo // The closely-knit urban fabric of the upper section of the oldest part of Ragusa, Italy has a clear 19th-century feel, with longitudinal streets running parallel at different levels, following the natural slope of the land and tied together by a criss-cross of steps. This project is about the renovation of a portion of the fabric originally used for the production and sale of the traditional cheese. Over the years, the building has been transformed and modified several times.


SESC Pompeia by Lina Bo Bardi | Yellowtrace
Photo by Pedro Kok.

SESC Pompeia by Lina Bo Bardi | Yellowtrace
Photo by Fernando Pires.


SESC Pompeia by Lina Bo Bardi // Lina Bo Bardi’s brutalist project in Sao Paolo, Brazil was completed in 1986, featuring three prismatic volumes of exposed concrete emerge alongside the old sheds of Pompeii drum factory.


Fogo Island Newfoundland Canada / Photo by Iwan Baan | Yellowtrace
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Artist Studio at Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada //  Somewhere in-between land and sea is where you’ll find Fogo Island Inn’s vision for a better future. This place is part of a groundbreaking model for community innovation, cultural resilience and a destination for ultra-local experiences. More info at 

Related Post: Stories on Design // Studios & Ateliers.


House in Mishuku Ⅱ by Nobuo Araki | Yellowtrace
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House In Mishuku Ⅱ by // This two-story house stands in a densely populated area of Setagaya, Tokyo. At first sight the flat, cubic building seems a little detached from the surroundings, yet once inside, it is remarkably open and airy since a part of the ceiling opens up to the sky.


Central London Flat by VW BS | Yellowtrace

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Central London Flat by // This central London flat belongs to an extended family of several generations from South East Asia, who regularly visit London for work and pleasure. The brief was to create a flexible space that could accommodate a variety of functions, and be simple in design.


Freshwater Semi by David Boyle Architect | Yellowtrace
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Freshwater Semi on Sydney’s Northern Beaches by // This narrow semi-detached house has been transformed into a light, airy home, which gives a family of four plenty of room to breathe. The home makes use of tall white walls and skylights to add to the interior’s light and space.


House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office | Yellowtrace
Photo by Toshiyuki Yano.


House in Ohno by // Located among the kaki (persimmon) trees, this beautiful house is a project by Japanese architecture studio Airhouse Design Office. To meet the client’s brief for a home with large open spaces and high ceilings, the architects designed a large roof that sits on top of seven substantial columns.

Read the full article & see more images here.


House in Miyake by Hidetaka Nakahara Architects & Yoshio Ohno Architects | Yellowtrace
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House in Miyake by Hidetaka Nakahara Architects & // Located in Hiroshima, Japan, the house stretches over the wall, blurring the boundaries between outside and outside. Typical example of simple and clean interior design.


House in Greece / Photo by Wichmann & Bendtsen | Yellowtrace
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Blacksmith’a Workshop in Greece // The building from the 1930s was once a blacksmith’s workshop before being left abandoned for a while and then discovered by a group of Danish architects who turned it into a modern vacation house in Lesbos, Greece. Inside, in a candid and full of light, the simple placement of a central element organises the space wisely.


House in Itami by Tato Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Koichi Torimura.


House in Itami by // The house is situated in a dense urban neighbourhood of Japan, positioned in the back of a narrow cul-de-sac. The interior of the home is defined by open staircases that sits at the centre of the dwelling, allocating functional programs on either side to maximise the small site, while offering a rich spatial experience that presents views to all areas of the house.


Hamra House by Swedish Architecture Studio DinellJohansson | Yellowtrace
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Hamra House by // This beautifully simple, compact summer house in Hamra, Sweden was designed by architecture studio DinellJohansson. The client initially asked for an existing barn to be converted into a summer house. Instead, DinellJohansson designed them a barn-like home.

Read the full article & see more images here.


Lake Cottage by UUfie | Yellowtrace
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Lake Cottage in Ontario, Canada by // Japanese architect Eiri Ota and Canadian architect Irene Gardpoit Chan of UUfie designed this small cabin, named Lake Cottage, to add large living and dining rooms to a family house beside the Kawartha Lakes. A staircase made from a single log leads up to the first-floor attic, where walls follow the steep angle of the roof. Rounded wooden shingles decorate one side and are visible from the living room through a row of internal windows.


Marsha Golemac's House / Photo by Brooke Holm | Yellowtrace
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Marsha Golemac’s Collingwood Home & Studio // Melbourne’s Marsha Golemac is a paper artist, stylist, visual merchandiser and great creative collaborator. After years working in product design, she has returned to those things which she loved as a child, and spends her days surrounded by mountains of paper and scissors in her Collingwood studio.


Inblum Svetaine | Yellowtrace


Charming apartment in Vilnius by Lithuanian design firm Inblum // Architects Dmitrij Kudin and Laura Malcaitė have found a perfect solution for a dialogue between the past and the present, between the Old Town heritage and the dynamic, multi-dimensional way of modern life.


Tamakichi Mochiten by Nakahira Architects | Yellowtrace

Photo by Ken’ichi Suzuki.


Tamakichi Mochiten by // Osaka-based practice Nakahira Architects has completed ‘Tamakichi Mochiten’, a house and rice-cake shop located in a suburban area of Tsu, Mie, Japan. The scheme presents an engaging and functional façade to the neighborhood, establishing the shop as a local landmark. The brief called for a building that combined traditional vernacular architecture with contemporary design.


Window House by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects | Yellowtrace
Images courtesy of .


Window House by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects // Existing on a compact strip of land between the ocean and the passing street, Yasutaka Yoshimura architects has designed a small-scale residence in Kanagawa, Japan. ‘Window House’ is a tiny seaside home offering expansive views of Mount Fuji and across Sagami Bay.


House in Chiharada by Studio Velocity | Yellowtrace
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House in Chiharada by // Located in the garden of another residence in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, architects Miho Iwatsuki and Kentaro Kunhura specified a cylindrical volume that would contrast with the rectilinear structure of the existing building. Inside, a large circular room occupies the entire floor and contains a sequence of family spaces that are divided by four box-shaped volumes with various proportions.


Adaymag Mujis Vertical House | Yellowtrace
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The Vertical House by MUJI // Japanese retail company Muji has designed a dwelling in Tokyo that caters to the needs of city dwellers. The residence maximises its small plot in order to provide spacious and brightly lit living accommodation, spread across three storeys.


Geneva Apartment by Bureau | Yellowtrace
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Geneva Apartment by Bureau A // Conceived as a place for intimacy, voyeuristic features lighten the mood and natural light floods throughout the deep layout. An important interior window connects the various façades of the apartment, linking the bedroom with kitchen and living room. Inspired by the extramarital escapes of hollywood’s golden era, the apartment can be interpreted as a stage with larger purpose than its domesticity. Here, colours evoke activity, a sense of being elsewhere, and an escape from the grey winters of Geneva, Switzerland.


House 20 by Rue Space | Yellowtrace
Photo by .


House 20 by // Each room of this townhouse in Spain is a separate block with a translucent frontage, which together create a stepped facade that glows after dark. Local firm Rue Space slotted the house into a six-metre-wide gap between the party walls of two existing structures in Cintruénigo, a town in the wine-making region of Navarra.


House in Hikone by Tato Architects | Yellowtrace
Photo by Shinkenchiku sha.


House in Hikone by // Forty-two identical windows puncture the exterior of this house in Japan by Tato Architects. The result of the formal justification develops a continuously curved interior highlighted by wooden furnishings supported by a timber framework.


Seagrape House by Traction Architecture | Yellowtrace
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Seagrape House by // Located in Anna Maria, Florida, USA, Seagrape House is a 3,000-square-foot home designed by Traction Architecture. An open floor plan with smoothed concrete creates a modern/industrial feel to the home in a location with very few homes that consider this model of design.


Toda House by Kimihiko Okada | Yellowtrace
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Toda House by // The Toda House is an unconventional residence perched high on stilts overlooking Hiroshima in Japan. Tasked with ensuring that his client would have a view over the neighbor’s roof, Kimihiko Okada lifted this multi-level platform home right up off the ground and stacked it on sturdy angular poles – giving the home the ultimate tiny footprint. Learn more after the jump and be sure to take a peek at Toshiyuki Yano’s beautiful images of this incredible home.


House G by Maxwan Architects | Yellowtrace
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House G by // Located by the river Linge in the Netherlands, House G was designed by local practice Maxwan Architects and sees a traditional old barn converted into a contemporary open-plan living space.


House in Iizuka by Rhythmdesign | Yellowtrace
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House in Iizuka by // Recently completed by Japanese architects Rhythmdesign, the two-storey House in Iizuka is hexagonal in plan and has rooms arranged around the perimeter.


Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier | Yellowtrace
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Small Box House by // Ladders link the first floor, mezzanine and skylight of this house in Sapporo, Japan, by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier. By the request of the clients, the dwelling is designed to be flexible in order to accommodate a cafe on the main floor as well as to host a variety of events in the future.


Tsubomi Home by Flathouse | Yellowtrace
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Tsubomi Home by Flathouse // Designed by architecture firm Flathouse, this contemporary seven-layer Tokyo-based home is the perfect example of Japanese living. The entire house is divided into seven split levels without partitions and all levels are connected by a staircase situated in the middle of the house. From the shop on the ground floor, this metal staircase connects the kitchen and the dining room on the 1.5 level, then the living space on second level, and finally the sleeping area on the top floor that is shared by all family members.


House Komazawa Park by miCo | Yellowtrace
Photo by Koichi Torimura.


House Komazawa Park by // The project is an extension of a thirty year old dwelling, nestled in a densely populated district where wooden houses sit like a compact cluster of timber frames. Working with the existing two-storey structure, Mizuki Imamura and Isao Shinohara of miCo made it their aim to re-interpret the wooden home so common in Japan, and modify the landscape it sat in.

Read the full article & see more images here.


Warehouse conversion in Rozelle by Tom Ferguson | Yellowtrace
Photo by Tom Ferguson.


Warehouse Conversion in Rozelle by TFAD for Edwina McCann // The property, which was shortlisted for the Australian Interior Design Awards 2011, is in the area where Ferguson lives – a suburb called Rozelle, just west of the Sydney CBD. The houses in this area vary in styles and ages, but most are privileged with a sense of heritage, as is Rozelle 2. “The philosophy behind the project was to make a contemporary addition to a traditional terrace house using materials and forms that were inherently sympathetic to the original structure,” says Ferguson.

Read the full article & see more images here.


Minna no ie by Mamm Design | Yellowtrace
Photo © .


Minna no ie by // This two-and-a-half storey dwelling is situated on a 4.5m wide by 12m long plot, wedged between houses in every direction. The design seeks to provide a space that seemingly expands beyond it’s borders by inserting a six meter-high garden room at its centre.

Read the full article & see more images here.
Related post: So Hot Right Now // Trees In Interiors.


Classroom by Menno Aden | Yellowtrace
Photo © .


Classroom by Menno Aden // Photographer Menno Aden likes to look down on his subjects, but in about the least pretentious way possible. To him, it’s just another way of seeing someone’s personality. Through a camera installed on the ceiling Menno Aden abstracts most familiar actual living environments and indoor public spaces into “attened two-dimensional scale models. These birds-eye-view photographs capture a unique perspective on rooms, compared to the perfectly neat and tidy interior photos we are so used to seeing.


About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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