Takeshi Shikauchi’s Small House Features Two Residences in One

Designed by Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office, this small house in Tokyo has been constructed using timber – a rarity in Japanese cities where it’s often a costly material to use due to disaster prevention strategies and maintenance.


Checkered House - Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office - Tokyo - Exterior - Humble Homes

According to the architects the house is set on a small plot of about 700 square feet (65 square meters). It contains a total of 1270 square feet (118 square meters) spread over two floors, and divided unevenly between two residences.


Checkered House - Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office - Tokyo - Entry - Humble Homes

The exterior is clad mostly in black corrugated sheeting, bar the overhang which features white panelling and a front wall that has a checkered wood appearance.


Checkered House - Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office - Tokyo - Living Area - Humble Homes

The house consists of a single floor dwelling on the left-hand-side, and a duplex apartment on the right. Upon entering the single floor apartment, you’ll find a small galley kitchen to the left, followed by a good-sized bedroom and a narrow, but effective bathroom.

Checkered House - Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office - Tokyo - Bathroom - Humble Homes

The duplex apartment features an entrance area with a coat rack. This is followed by a ground floor bedroom and separate closet. A small set of stairs leads up to an open plan living room, kitchen and dining area, with a second bedroom hidden around the corner from the kitchen.

Checkered House - Takeshi Shikauchi Architect Office - Tokyo - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The duplex apartment also features a separate lavatory, bathroom and toilet, as well as another storage closet and a small balcony. Both apartments look out over the street from behind the checkered wood and glass wall that provides ample natural daylighting and maintains privacy.

For more Japanese houses check out the Hibarigaoka S House, which attempts to make the most of it’s small plot. Or, this house that’s been converted into a set of two tiny, fun loving apartments. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Koichi Torimura

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. some japanese houses and apartments have unusual plans (by american standards) altho’ usually practical. This one is the first I have seen that indicates passage thru a first floor bedroom to enter the 2nd floor apartment. Is this correct?

    1. Hey Rich — You’re right, you’ve to pass the first floor bedroom to reach the main living area of the apartment above. I suppose it could always serve another purpose, like a home office instead of a (much more private) bedroom.

  2. more pictures please. I like the area opposite of the kitchen if that is storage behind or in front of the table and chairs on the right hand side of the house/apartment but I definitely would change the first bedroom into a library with desk or living room area with the bedroom in back for more privacy and less noise pollution if the house/apartment was stationed to more active street.