Narrow urban homes come with very specific challenges. There is scarce floor space, they are almost always in very close proximity to neighbours and the interiors often receive little natural light. At the same time, many of these homes have great potential. They are usually built in urban centres where space is at a premium. They can be built upwards and many have great little back gardens.
The Japanese home we will explore today has been built on one such narrow block. The designer, Urasi Architectural Design, has dealt with these challenges gently and created a home with a very peaceful, private ambience. It also had a very natural, spacious feel and a contemporary approach to the interior. So come with us to explore this narrow urban home through a series of beautiful photos…
The minimalist facade has white timber cladding. The cladding runs on a horizontal line that makes the home appear wider. It is also a very private home. There is just one small window on the upper level and this is an obvious benefit in a dense urban setting. Finally, the simple Zen garden adds a very distinct, minimalistic feel to the entrance.
At the rear of the home, we have a very simple garden with a gently curving granite area and a perfectly green lawn. It's a low maintenance garden and one that's perfect for urban dwellers with busy lives. It's a peaceful, Zen-like garden space that offers opportunity for contemplation.
The rear opening of the home is large and allows for direct, open access to the garden. This allows as much light as possible to penetrate the interior. It also maximises the small, but important influence of the outdoor space on the home. This may be a small home, but the interior has been simply furnished to make the space feel as spacious as possible. Note how the simple interior has been made warm and cosy with timber materials.
When we turn our backs to the garden, we come to the dining room, kitchen and staircase leading to the mezzanine. Every surface, wooden material and line in this space has been very carefully configured to create a streamlined look. There is barely a single unbroken line in the space and the timber materials blend into one another. Although the surface area is small, the vertical potential of the building has been maximised. Visual features such as the high bookcase and ladder to our left draw the eye upwards and make the area feel spacious.
In the galley-style kitchen, we have a good view of the upper opening that connects to the mezzanine. The high ceilings and large upper opening give a very grand and impressive feel to the space. At the same time, the open glass barrier allows for precious light to fall into the deeper recesses of the home.
Quiet spaces are crucial in any urban home. In this home, a quiet space has been created on the mezzanine. It has a traditional Japanese tatami and it is set away from the bustling activity of the main living room and kitchen. It's a space for private conversations and a little, simple down time.
If you are interested in urban dwellings, keep reading! You'll love A Highly-functional Family Home in London.