Located on the outskirts of Tokyo, this small house has been designed for a young family of four. Japanese architect, Tetsuo Yamaji, set out to create a unique home for the owners using readily available construction components and prefabricated parts.
Yamaji recently established his own design studio after a stint in Kengo Kuma’s firm. The aim of the project is to take advantage of mass-produced products, while still creating a highly personal home for the family. As a result, the house has been dubbed “Module Grid House”.
From Yamaji: “Family structures, household incomes, working styles, hobbies, tastes, weather and climate are all different for different families. At the same time, we all want to be like everyone else, and be average. These thoughts seem conflicting, but it is actually quite natural to feel this way – we all want high quality products, but at a cheap price.”
The house consists of a two-storey, rectangular volume. The structure is made of a timber frame that’s been insulated and clad on the outside with corrugated metal. The size of the house is based on traditional tatami mats, and the measurements are based on the old Shakkanho system, as opposed to the metric system which replaced it in the 1960s.
The interior layout is quite simple. The first floor contains the bedroom and bathroom areas. The second floor features an open plan living room, dining area and kitchen. There’s also a toilet on the second floor as well as what looks like a spare room for storage.
The most striking feature of the home is it’s large grid window that runs the length of the east wall. The grid was created from timber beams and has an integrated door that leads out to a small roof terrace. The terrace doubles as a canopy for the lower floor, providing a space for the family to enjoy on both levels.