Jyubako – A Basic Tiny House on Wheels by Kengo Kuma

The Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has turned his design skills to tiny houses. He’s teamed up with Snow Peak, a Japanese manufacturer for outdoor apparel, to create a minimalist, bare-bones home.


The tiny mobile home has been dubbed Jyubako. Kuma’s approach is intentionally basic, with the hope that it’ll provide greater flexibility to the end-user/owner in terms of its use (such as a writing studio, pop-up shop or just a plain ol’ home).



Both the exterior and interior make use of a plywood finish. They could have opted for a boring staggered arrangement of the sheeting that would have been perfectly functional. Instead, they’ve opted for a juxtaposition that helps to create a contemporary aesthetic.



The panelling can be used to “lock-down the home, covering window and door openings when not in use. Some of the window panels also have a secondary function; they can act as a table, or work surface when opened. On the inside, the house takes advantage of recessed lighting to create a tranquil atmosphere.


The simple design has several practical advantages over the more complex, cottage-like tiny houses. With its boxy frame less materials are required to create the home. Its regular shape leads to simpler construction, which should also result in less construction waste and a quicker turnaround.


The project is still in its development phase. Further iterations should see more elements and utilities being integrated into the unit, making it take on a more house-like appearance rather than a blank canvas.

For more tiny houses check out this not-so-tiny, tiny house by Portable Cedar Cabins. Or, Odyssée, a French tiny house on wheels for three by Baluchon. See all tiny houses.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Kengo Kuma & Associates

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

1 Comment
  1. One thing I’ve noticed about Japanese designs is they tend to be very good or incredibly bad, in some way. This falls into the latter, as far as “I” am concerned, due to the sheer ugliness of the all plywood construction in its natural(?) state. Doesn’t do anything for me internally, just essentially a big box. And yes I do realise that it is designed to be multi-functional in its capabilities but… blehhhhhh!