Three-Story House Squeezed Between A Street And A River

A small plot isn’t always a problem for an architect, especially in crowded cities where such challenges are quite ordinary. When asked to built a house on a narrow and small site in Kyoto, Japan, Atelier Boronski knew exactly what to do. The team managed to give their client the perfect home, exactly as expected: a 230 square meter house on three floors, squeezed between the road and the river.

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The house sits on a small site placed between the street and the river
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It has its own private courtyard facing the street, with small trees and plants

The house is wonderfully uncomplicated. It has this very simple and appealing look and a well organized structure, with each of the three floors serving a specific function. The ground floor is a guest area, with an entrance lobby and other welcoming spaces. The first floor is where the main bedroom suite is situated and that leaves the second floor which houses the living, dining and kitchen area. On top of it all there’s also a roof garden and a glazed hatch that lets one access it.

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This facade features a combination of stainer timber and galvanized steel
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The design inside and out is simple and low-maintenance

The street facade is covered in fireproof timber and has a very understated and simple look. There’s a small private courtyard in front, sort of like a buffer zone between the internal spaces and the street. The wood on the facade is stained and has a rich finish which contrasts with the galvanized steel elements.

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The dining area has views of the surroundings and a beautiful live-edge table
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The living area, although small, looks and feels open and airy

The North facade, the one facing the river, has a totally different structure. This is an all glass facade which doesn’t exactly give much privacy but, at the same time, exposes the internal spaces to the expansive views. The glass also contributes to an overall look that’s robust on one hand but also open and airy on the other hand. Such contrasts are actually quite common with this project.

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The stairs and the handrails are made of raw steel which contrasts with the warm wood elements
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The North facade of the house is made of glass and offers views of the river

The interior is simple and has a masculine vibe. The palette of materials used in here has a lot to do with that. The ceilings are covered in exposed steel, the floors are made of exposed concrete and the sculptural staircase and the handrails are made of raw steel. This would be a very cold and austere combo if not for the warm wood accents that balance out the decor.

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The ceilings throughout the house are made of exposed steel
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The floors are exposed concrete and the same material is also used for the kitchen island

A cool feature is the fact that the artwork is painted directly on the walls by local artists. Check out this funky and colorful kitchen decor or the accent wall in the bedroom.

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The bathroom is minimalist and furnished with simple and practical elements
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The sleeping area is separated from the bathroom by sliding glass doors