Tiny House in Kobe

Kobe / Japan / 2012

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The first time I went to see the building site for this project, I walked right past it. It was so small some people might have wondered why anyone would bother to build a house there in the first place. Does the client like small houses? As I looked at the site plan, I thought to myself that if they didn’t like small spaces, it would probably be impossible to come up with a design. I stood on the site pondering the project. Would I be able to design a house that met the client’s needs and desires? I thought about many things, and I began to feel slightly worried.


But when I thought about it a little more, I realized that these days it is hardly novel to build a “tiny house” on a small lot in a dense residential district in the city center. In that way, I convinced myself that the project was worthwhile, and I developed my ideas until I was able to propose a design.


When many people are in the house, their relationships grow closer. Even when only one or two people are there, they feel calm rather than lonely in the space. The temperature can easily be adjusted. Everything is visible, so maintenance is easy. When I look back on the tiny houses I have designed in the past, I sometimes feel that the merits of small spaces may win out over those of larger spaces.


Project Location : Kobe city, Hyogo Pref. Japan
Completion Year : 2012
Principle use : residence
Site Area : 36.95 sq.m
Building Area :22.13 sq.m
Total Floor Area : 63.33 sq.m
Storeys : 3
Structure : wooden
Photo by: Toshiyuki Yano
http://www.yanofoto.com/


This small site measuring 36.95 sqm is located in a downtown residential area. The slatted, drainboard-like floors on the first through third floors are connected to the slatted tables, stairwell and skylights, allowing sunlight to reach right to the bottom of the house. Three-dimensional gaps and holes in the visual field eliminate any sense of a two-dimensional spatial narrowness, or sensation of being fenced in.

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    The first time I went to see the building site for this project, I walked right past it. It was so small some people might have wondered why anyone would bother to build a house there in the first place. Does the client like small houses? As I looked at the site plan, I thought to myself that if they didn’t like small spaces, it would probably be impossible to come up with a design. I stood on the site pondering the project. Would I be able to design a house that met the client’s...

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