The Window House – Tiny Retreat With Ocean Front Views

Set on a narrow plot between the ocean and the street, this oddly-shaped building is a weekend retreat for a lucky couple in Kanagawa, Japan. Called the Window House, the elevated retreat was designed by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects who were tasked with creating a space that would allow the clients to relax while also taking advantage of its unique setting.


Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects - Window House - Japan - Humble Homes

Due to the limited size of the site, the architects had to build up rather than out, with the different living areas of the house being spread over two floors. The retreat features two large windows on both the front and back walls, providing not only plenty of light, but also amazing views of Sagami Bay and Mount Fuji in the distance. The windows also allow people to see through the building from the street, perhaps minimising its rather dominant presence.


Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects - Window House - Japan - Humble Homes

The entire structure is raised about 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) off of the ground level by concrete piers. This helps to protect the otherwise exposed building from the surges and flooding tides; in times of extreme weather the water simply flows under the cabin.


Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects - Window House - Japan - Humble Homes

The Window House is accessed by a set of cantilevered concrete stairs. A second staircase on the opposite end of the home provides access to the waterfront, and the sheltered space below the cabin doubles as a car parking space for the clients.

Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects - Window House - Japan - Humble Homes

The views of Mount Fuji can be seen from both floors in the house. Given the small dimensions of the house, a bare minimum of space has been dedicated to each of the different living areas. The second floor contains the mechanical areas of the home – the kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen is placed along the length of the window, allowing the owners to enjoy the scenery while preparing meals.

Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects - Window House - Japan - Humble Homes

A short set of stairs provides access to the third floor, which contains a cosy master bedroom. The interior also contains some playful elements like the set of ladders that pass through the floor to a small nook that acts as a sleeping space for guests.

Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects - Window House - Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

For more retreats check out this prefabricated getaway called Salt Creek Rural Retreat by ARKit. Or this Finnish island retreat that features an all glass roof and walls. See all retreats.

Via DesignBoom
Photos: Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects

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. I am planning and building a small house on my farm, rural property. Middle Tennessee. Designing it w/three window sides. Art will be hung in those three windows. I am beside myself w/joy. I want to do a blog, from concept to finish. Published author and interior designer (not ASID) and hills surround – w/glorious ‘recovered’ antebellum farm home on frontage. Two beautiful, less than acre, small, spring fed ponds. Eight stall barn on property.

    I am open to ideas, suggestions, recommends of others. Will build during summer months.

    I am stuttering with excitement and would like to get on this blog . . open to suggestions and help.

    Gayle Hill

  2. Hey Gayle, there are a number of books, plans and workhops out there which would help you to make some more informed decisions about what you want your tiny house to be like and how to go about constructing it. Feel free to send me an email any time and I’ll do what I can to help! :)

  3. Linda – I have to agree, I’m not keen on bare concrete walls. I find them to be quite cold but I think the pictures here have been taken before people have actual moved into the house. Perhaps after it’s been “lived in” for a while it’ll look more comfortable.