YDA Architects Remodel a Home to Make Way for Three Generations Under One Roof

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The Japanese architecture firm, YDS Architects, have converted a single family home in Tokyo into a multi-generational one. Like most residential neighborhoods in Tokyo, the house is set on a small plot of land in a densely populated street.



The project, which was completed in 2017, has been titled House N. It’s set on a 527-square-foot (49-square-meter) plot of land, and thanks to its two floors and loft, has a total internal floor area of 1055-square-feet (98-square-meters).



The house was originally built about 40 years ago. The client approached YDS to see if it would be possible to create a more flexible home – the client’s mother was due to start living with her family and sometimes a little space to yourself does no harm.



Given the age of the home, the architects also saw the renovation as an opportunity to bring the house up to code, strengthening it structurally. They also focused on creating light, and maintaining the more significant features of the property.

Generating natural and artificial light applying existing elements and materials regenerate architectures. Regenerating these old houses leads to sustainability and contributes to the cultures and diversities. – YDS

Exterior spaces were also revised during the process. The client has a small garden, which, prior to the renovation, was rarely used due to a lack of privacy. The new design incorporates a tall slat fence, wooden decking, some small trees and a water feature in order to encourage the family to make more use of the space.


Lots of glazing was introduced to ensure the home’s interior would be bright and airy on the dullest of days. The main living area is fronted with two large patio doors that provide light across the living room, dining area and kitchen.

The existing beams were placed at random, new beams are evenly added to the frame which would bring about the sense of order and express the transitional beauty reflecting the light and shadows. – YDS


The upper floor is dedicated to the bedrooms. The grandmother gets the largest room, along with a substantial storage area. This is followed by the parent’s and child’s bedroom. A single toilet can be found upstairs, with a larger bathroom being found on the first floor.

Natural light shines in white wall and light from the beams melt into the space in the same color of ceiling and beams. Sense of unity by minimizing the materials and colors bring forth profound beauty. – YDS


Photos © Nobuki Taoka

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.