Awkward Plot Success Story: A 594 Square Foot Japanese Home

Just for the sake of imagination and comparison, you could realistically walk pass or through this narrow lot by just taking two huge steps.  While that may make you think that a lot of this size wouldn’t seem ideal for any structure, much less a home for three (INCLUDING parking), however that’s exactly what this Japanese family got and it’s fantastic.  This house in Horinouchi, Japan comes to us from the design work of Mizuishi Architects, and it displays some very clever design choices.  If you look at that overhang in the picture above, it adds square footage to the inside of the home, AND provides weather protection for a parking spot.

The 594-square-foot house contains soaring ceilings and skylights keep this tiny space feeling open and airy.  Context and planning regulations are largely what informed the design, says the architect Kota Mizuishi:

Although it was a novel site of a limited area, since a river was faced through a bank and a promenade, I would like to design various relations with the river.

The building is the form that cut an acute angle part on a triangle plan derived from the site. Furthermore, it got the maximum volume of hip roof of three planes in restriction of setback-line.

Living room, kitchen and dining are located on the second floor, where windows on both sides maximize natural daylighting and give off an illusion of “floating,” as the architect put it. Above the living space is a mezzanine level accessible by ladder, acting as the family playroom. It overlooks the kitchen and a narrow, triangular spare room on both sides. The mezzanine contains two skylights so the family can stargaze at the evening sky. The lowermost floor contains a bathroom and a bedroom space that is divided off with a curtain — instead of walls — to increase the sense of openness.

[Thanks Treehugger; Image credits: Mizuishi Architect Atelier]

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