Residents of Japan’s Chichibu region look forward eagerly to the annual December fireworks festival. Our client wanted her elderly mother to be able to watch the fireworks. We designed a house that let her see the fireworks from inside. We concentrated the plumbing and other utilities in the centre of the first floor, and surrounded them with living space in a wheelchair-accessible open plan. We turned the second floor into a plain stage, thought about the direction of the house, and replaced part of the roof with glass panels so that the fireworks could be seen from upstairs. The space can only be used once a year, but it strengthens bonds between family and friends.