In this installment of the Unique Homes in Japan series, we feature a very small house in Suginami ward, in western Tokyo that is wedged onto a 52 sqm (about 560 sqft.) acutely triangular site area formed by the intersection of a small river and the adjacent road.
Due to the owners’ requirement for off-street parking, the architects, Mizushi Architects Atelier, cantilevered the second floor to make room for the family car.
Amazingly, the actual building area was only 29.07 sqm (about 313 sqft) but the architects managed to squeeze 55.24 sqm (about 595 sqft) of living space into the two-floor, wooden-construction home.
The bedroom and bathroom are located on the first floor. The only internal wall and door on this private floor separate the bathroom from the bedroom. Lace curtains are used instead, to create a feeling of spaciousness and airiness.
The architects also had to contend with the regulation that roads in Japan must be at least four meters wide. In reality, however, old roadways are often much narrower. In these cases, a building must be setback from the center of the old roadway by at least two meters (or sometimes more, depending on local ordinances).
The house has a hipped roof to maximize the total volume of living space, given the setback requirement. At the same time, the architect wanted to incorporate the riverside location into the design of the house. A large bay window allows for riverside views.
The owners are a husband and wife and their young daughter. The top floor loft looks like a great play room!
The high ceilings in the kitchen and dining rooms also create a feeling of space.
The house was built in 2011, with a construction cost of 15,500,000yen (about $128,000 at today’s exchange rate).
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