Tokyo is plagued with small houses. Rather, small plots of land. So much so that it prompted the government to issue a manual for controlling land compartmentalization because they were concerned that it could lead to a decline in quality of life. Indeed, in order to maximize living space homes are often constructed around the limits of the perimeter, with floors stacked on each other, creating dark spaces that feel secluded from the community.
Junpei Nousaku Architects’ antidote is displayed in their most recent home, completed in July of 2011. The communal living room is situated on the ground floor. And instead of stacking another floor above it, the ceiling is vaulted a full 3-floors all the way to the roof, achieving the unachievable in terms of scale. The exterior is also impressive and hardly resembles a private residence. The finished home, the architects say, is actually an attempt to create an unfinished space that will engage with or, at times, clash with, the surrounding environment.
So the moral of the story? When it comes to small spaces, less is more.