The islands of Japan are always presenting new challenges to architects when it comes to space. Today's house by Mizuishi Architect Atelier is a marvellous answer to the perennial tight squeeze. It occupies just 52.14 square metres (559 square feet), when average house size in Tokyo is well above that at 95 m2. It also inhabits a little triangular property at the end of a block. Dwarfed by the surrounding buildings, this little beauty makes a big impact. It leans into the industrial surroundings and feels futuristic, spacious, and oh so clever.
From this angle the house looks cute, but also hardly habitable. It just seems too narrow to be comfortable. The odd triangle shape has been forced by the curve of the The Zenpukuji River which cuts into the block. It would seem to take an optical illusion for architects to fit a spacious home into this little industrial crevace. We imagine that this section of street was for sale for a long time.
The entry way looks even more industrial with those slatted stairs and sliding metal front door. The bottom half of the building has been made out of siding board (fibre cement) while the upper floor is made of galvanised steel painted a soft chocolate brown. The blue and brown is a nice choice, standing out from the surroundings, while the white siding board looks plain, but is actually quite useful-- as we will see inside.
Wow, what unexpected spaciousness. The windows on both sides of the room help to open up the space, while the flooring and white ceiling soak up all of that lovely light. Space saving measures have been incorporated everywhere, from window sill storage to a sliding coffee table that can make room for anything at a moment's notice. The work desk has also been incorporated into the window sill, and its thin design maintains the feeling of wall space. The hard wood floor is a favourite flooring of many, and its warmth keeps the space from feeling too industrial.
The kitchen is cleverly tucked into the narrow corner of the house. The counter tops don't actually meet in the back corner, even though it appears that they do, so that when you're cooking in the back you have enough room to move around between the counters. Still, the illusion keeps the kitchen feeling unified. A similar effect has been achieved with the wooden dining table. It blends into the floor, giving the illusion that there is more floor space than there is, and keeping the kitchen from feeling cramped. You can browse for some more minimalist kitchen inspiration here.
From the kitchen, we get a great view of the living space of the house. It's a sensational floor plan that has a surprise up at the top, a gorgeous white loft that takes advantage of the triangular roof top. The open rail was a great choice, making the house feel larger with the view right to the top. Let's go up and take a peek.
You might have been worried about the head space up here, with the small ceiling, but children won't mind. It seems the house owners needed some extra room for their little one's play, and what better choice than to make use of the loft space that adults can't fit in? To take a look into another odd house with an amazing interior look here.