Corridor & hallway by 竹内建築デザインスタジオ

The narrow home full of bright ideas

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Today on homify we will travel to Tokyo to explore a 132m2 narrow home that was built on a challenging site. An elongated home design was the obvious solution for a site of this shape. But the property is wedged between two other homes in a relatively congested area that is not exposed to copious sunlight. So the narrow design still didn't address the problems of light and privacy. The architects, Takeuchi Architectural Design Studio, decided to create a second floor with a trapezoid shape. This allowed them to take advantage of the light on one side without sacrificing any privacy. They then finished the interior with lots of natural materials and created narrow windows and openings to let in a whole lot of light. Let's have a look through a set of beautiful photos…

Elongated shape

The narrow home has a simple, minimalist exterior. It is clad in galvalume steel, which is essentially a maintenance-free material. There are two exterior windows, but both are elevated quite high off the ground for privacy. The narrow entrance and narrow balcony area have been set well back from the facade and this also adds that little bit more privacy. Finally, the trapezoid shape of the roof gives the home a stylish look. The grey colour, minimalist design and wooden details also make this home immediately recognisable as a modern Japanese home.

Natural materials

The interior is finished with Douglas fir wood. This makes the small and narrow home feel cocoon-like and cosy. The architects have also chosen to use a combination of white walls and wooden elements on the walls, windows and doors. These accentuate the vertical lines and thus the height of the space. Together with the natural light flooding from the upper level, the home gives off the feel of being in a treehouse. Also, note the use of sliding doors. They are always a good choice in narrow rooms like this.

Effective use of narrow space

The narrow hallway and staircase has been simply designed to make the home feel as large as possible. This, together with the prevalent use of weight means that there is little visual weight in this passageway. In addition, we have an enormous amount of natural light. This comes in through the high-set windows on the left. They are placed very high on the wall, so they provide copious amounts of light without sacrificing any privacy at all.

Minimalist design

On the ground floor level we have a surprisingly spacious living room. It has a minimalist design and the same subdued natural decor we have seen earlier. The opening that leads towards the small garden has been designed with bi-folding doors. They help retain the simple, uncluttered look of the home. Also, see how the internal window directly in front has been designed with a very long horizontal shape. This accentuates the width of the room and makes it feel quite wide.

Built-in furniture

As with many Japanese homes, the architects have created space for lots of built-in furniture units. These help retain the sense of simple cohesion in the home. Here, we can see how the far corner of the trapezoid roof has been used to create a very unusual little loft bed. It's certainly one of the cosiest little sleeping platforms we've seen on homify.

Soothing bathroom

The bathroom has a spa-like ambience. This is largely due to the neutral colour scheme and prevalent use of natural wood. As with all of the other rooms in this home, the small dimensions have been perfectly utilised. The built-in furniture is built right to the walls to create a simple, streamlined look. The long and narrow window offers light without sacrificing privacy and the atmosphere is soothing and sophisticated.

For more Japanese inspiration, check out The real secret garden home.

What do you think of the unusual shape of this modern Japanese home?
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

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