Tokyo Tight

Tokyo, Japan  –  Unemori Architects

Site Area:     34.27 m2  (370 sq. ft.)
Building Envelope:    17.47 m2  (188 sq. ft.)
Built Area:     67.34 m2  (727 sq. ft.)
Photography: Unemori Architects

Japan truly is the land of innovation when it comes to housing. Its cities are crowded, land is limited and if you want a car, you must be able to park it off the street. This has resulted in a type of architectural gymnastics as is demonstrated in this home.

Each level measures less than 4.2 metres square…
Each level measures less than 4.2 metres square…

When we first looked at the home, the floor area placed it in our ‘Small Homes’ category. But after deducting the stairs and then accounting for the reality that the ‘spare room’, with it’s low ceiling, is little more than storage, we concluded this home definitely deserves a ‘Tiny Home’ title. Here are the unedited notes from the architect:

“The small house in which the married couple and their child live stands at the densely populated area in Tokyo. Though the neighboring houses is very close, I aimed to design the house which exceed the physical narrowness living at the city.

I laid out the 4m×4m building that as small as I can at the center of site area 34m2 and made some space for flowing of light and wind around it. And by making the space, it’s possible to avoid setback regulation and it has the 9m high volume like a tower.

The inside is simple structure what is separated by the 4 floor boards and is jointed by spiral stairway. Especially, by making some extremely thin floor boards (thickness 70mm) , the up and down floor boards got close and connected the whole space of the house without a break.

The space of around the house is useful to let light and wind in.

The wall of the rooms borders the outside, so I put windows in the best position that harmonizing with its surroundings. And the window is so big against the small room, every time the window opens or closes, the inside view dramatically changes. Especially, at the second and third floor there is a large hinged door each room, if it is opened, the inside of the room is enveloped in light and wind as if you are outside.

By making the thin floor boards for connecting with their life and making the large windows that are opened toward the city, I aimed to exceed the segmentation, for example the up stair and the down stair, the inside and the outside, a building and the town, etc… to broaden the whole image of a house.”

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox. You can also view the images as a slideshow if you prefer 8-)


Another fascinating solution to a tiny lot challenge is Daylight House



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