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” doesn’t leave much for guesswork. It’s name says it all.
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.
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.
Large windows connect the terrace to the living room and the bedroom and act like a respiratory organ to let the house breath.