This small house set on the very edge of a residential street has been designed by Japanese firm Kobayashi 401. Called “Minamisensoku House”, it contains a total of 775 square feet (72 square meters) spread over its three floors.
The house is located in Ota-ku on the outskirts of Tokyo. The plot of land the house is set on measures 9.8 by 42.7 feet (3 by 13 meters). The biggest challenge for the architects was how to deal with this narrow and long site to create a comfortable home within its boundaries.
The exterior features weatherboard-style panelling that continues up to the apex of the roof. The entrance of the house is only given away by the small porch roof jutting out from the face of the building. The side wall, running adjacent to the roadside, features a series of long narrow windows, maintaining privacy for the inhabitants.
Larger windows have been placed above street level, another strategy to introduce natural lighting without compromising privacy. On the inside, there’s a minimalist feel to the house. It’s sparsely decorated (if at all) and there’s a real sense of materiality with the exposed steel beams, floor troughs, and concrete.
After entering the house, a small flight of steps brings you down into the living area. On the opposite end of the home a steel staircase takes you up and into the kitchen, which is just a single row of cabinets and appliances. The next set of stairs takes you up into the more private areas of the home, the bathroom and bedrooms.
At the apex of the building there’s a small loft area accessed by ladders. The bare interior is probably a bit too cold for some, although this house doesn’t look like it’s been “lived in” by the owner(s) yet, which I imagine would soften up the space. Unfortunately there was no floor plan, making it a little hard to piece the pictures together.
Photos: Kobayashi 401