The Wave House – A Small Home For a Surfer and His Family

Designed by APOLLO Architects & Associates, this unusual house melds form and function. The build was completed in 2014 and is now home to a small family in Kanagawa, Japan. The house is set on a lot close to a beach where the father of the family can maintain his hobby, surfing.


Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Humble Homes

The plot of land was originally purchased by the client due to its proximity to the beach, however the home itself had to serve the needs of the whole family. It features a total of 1,119 square feet (104 square meters) over its two storeys.


Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The Wave House has a U-shaped plan, with the living areas being built around a central courtyard on the ground floor. The courtyard can be accessed from outside, and provides direct entry to the bathroom, which useful after a day’s surfing and you don’t want to trudge through the house.


Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Living Room - Humble Homes

The ground floor is also taken up by the entrance hallway, the children’s bedroom, the master bedroom, a separate bathroom, washroom and toilet, and several storage closets. The children’s bedroom flanks the courtyard and features views of the family’s memorial tree, helping to create a relaxed environment for studying.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Courtyard - Humble Homes

The second floor contains the kitchen/dining room and living room. The living room and kitchen are separated by the framing of the courtyard, but feature floor-to-ceiling windows that maintain a connection between the different areas, and help to create an atmosphere of spaciousness.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

Next to the living room there’s a large roof balcony that looks out over the street and beyond. The balcony cantilevers out from the main body of the building and creates a sheltered parking space for two cars at ground level. All in all, I think it’s a really smart, well thought out design with a good balance between (and allocation of) living spaces.

For more small spaces check out The Pod, a modern granny flat in Australia by Takt. Or, Cabin2, a small contemporary retreat by Maddison Architects. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Masao Nishikawa

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. This may be a well thought out design and comfortable for its inhabitants, but it certainly say f—k you to the neighborhood.

  2. @ Peter Firth… at least getting away from just another little ticky tacky box that middle america is renowned for. In 5 years time nobody will give it a seconds’ thought…

  3. The house is fine. The facade sucks now and it will suck five years from now. Just my opinion.

  4. A really cool house for a small family or couple! The design is perfect for the Kanagawa area, which I can say has some awesome surf spots. A minimalist approach is great for a beach house, too: a way better design than that place next door with the nasty Grey Poupon color, tedious gutters, and lattice window treatments displays. I can see that thing any day along the coastlines of LA/Orange/San Diego Counties in Southern California. I’m not so sure about that rear hall space: with built-in cabinets I could imagine better utility.

    My first comment on your excellent blog of small houses. I have enjoyed perusing the posts, so thanks kindly, Mr. Burke.