Finding an empty piece of land on which to build is basically impossible at this point, at least in large cities. But this doesn’t completely eliminate the idea of building a new house. It just means we have to find new ways of doing it and that we have to think outside the box. The solution that YUUA Architects & Associates found in Toshima, Japan is quite interesting.
They managed to build a house on a lot that measures 2.5 by 11 meters. As you can imagine, the house is really narrow and long. It has four main levels that overlap each other and a glass facade that exposes it to the street and the surroundings while letting light in.
The house has a basement and three floors on top of it. The first floor houses a study and a bedroom, the one on top of it contains an open kitchen, living and dining areas and the top level features a bathroom, a terrace and a bedroom.
Even though the house is only 1.8 meters wide, it was designed in such a way that it feels spacious and open. It has no closed spaces and the main living areas and the bedrooms are situated at the rear of the house for increased privacy.
Dark walls and timber flooring allow the interior to feel warm and inviting while also giving it a sophisticated and mysterious look. The main staircase that connects the floor is situated at the back of the house and is illuminated by a skylight.
A second skylight lets natural light into a different portion of the house while the glass facade with its full-height windows illuminates the spaces situated at the front of the property. In order to maximize the interior space, the architects used a limited number of columns and beams. They also left all the spaces open and free to communicate with each other.
The steel frame construction allows the be strong and stable despite its unusual and curious shape. Floating metal stairs connect the interior spaces and open shelves offer storage without occupying floor space or looking bulky. The staircase and shelves combo is space-efficient and suitable for such a layout.
Spatial openness was a very important concept for this project. In addition to responding to such a difficult demand in a clever and practical way, the team also also managed to give the house a lot of character and a playful appeal that its owners and they cat really appreciate.