Little House with a Big Terrace by Takuro Yamamoto Architects

little house with a big terrace

The area of Tokyo is just 0.6% of Japan’s total but is home to 10% of the population. It’s the densest city in the world where real estate comes at a premium and architects spend their time coming up with creative ways to squeeze living space into every last nook and cranny. The story — call it Tokyo’s property parable — has been told many times. But a new iteration is proving that maximized indoor living space isn’t the only key to good quality of life.

little house with a big terrace

“Little House with a Big Terrace” doesn’t leave much for guesswork. It’s name says it all.

little house with a big terrace

Completed in April of 2015 and located in the Edogawa Ward of Tokyo, “Little House with a Big Terrace” doesn’t leave much for guesswork. It’s name, which borrows from Laura Ingalls Little House in the Big Woods, says it all. In response to a married couple’s request for a generous, outdoor yoga space, Takuro Yamamoto Architects designed a pair of large terraces that channel through the home. The bottom is used as a parking garage while the top is the couple’s large yoga terrace. Together, they’re almost equivalent to the adjacent 2-story home’s living space.

It’s definitely a bold a rare plan that proves spaciousness can be achieved in ways other than maximizing living quarters.

little house with a big terrace

But that doesn’t mean that no attention was paid to the indoors. On the contrary, because the large yoga terrace reduced available living space, the architects had to work extra hard to put a number of space-saving idea to work.

In a design that was perhaps inspired by the adventures of Indiana Jones, movable stairs reveal a passageway to a hidden storage room that’s ben inserted just above the ground floor.

little house with a big terrace

little house with a big terrace

little house with a big terrace

little house with a big terrace

little house with a big terrace

little house with a big terrace

Large windows connect the terrace to the living room and the bedroom and act like a respiratory organ to let the house breath.

little house with a big terrace

little house with a big terrace

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3 Comments

  1. Makes me wonder about the neighbours on the left that now have a high wall directly next to their balcony..

  2. To Sey

    Agree, its a palm in the face.
    But what I’d like to imagine is that we are witnessing a good example of a generation of change. The residents of the older home could have hired an architect that would have foreseen the possibility of design-centric wealthy youngsters moving-in. That architect would recommended building a patio and skylights on the roof.

    However, since they are older and aren’t so active they didn’t want to climb upstairs to dry the clothes on the roof patio everyday. And since they are from a different generation, they didn’t want skylights and high ceilings because of the high energy cost of cooling in the summer and heating in the winter.

    Or maybe it’s just their own a-hole kids that moved in next door.

  3. the really think that this is a cool an innovative design. but also architecturally, the design inside the house i really enjoy and think is cool. Although the neighbors with the balcony next to the house it spoils their view and leaves them with just a white wall. just overall the way this is designed with the glass doors opened and having a living room like that is pretty cool. also i think just the simpleness of this just for me makes it fascinating to me.

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