The Showa-cho House in Osaka Japan is an amazingly airy residence despite its miniscule 59 x 13-foot lot. Architect Fujiwara Muro made incredible use of the limited space available by building up and splitting the home in half with a staircase, which acts as both a transition space and delineates the private and public sides of the home without a wall. Plenty of daylight flows in, and a simplified modern interior streamlines the space, adding a tranquil feeling to a home dictated by a ten foot-wide interior dimension.
Set in a tightly-planned neighborhood in Osaka, the home makes the most of a limited lot. The face of the home is a fully glazed to maximize daylighting, and it’s set deep into the lot for privacy and to control heat gain in the summer. The living space has two-story floor-to-ceiling windows, which makes the limited floor area seem much more generous. The centerpiece of the home is an elegantly ascending open staircase. The layout provides central access to the verticality of the floor plan but still allows for view corridors from front to back — a smart strategy to keep the home from feeling claustrophobic.
The home’s vertical program balances public and private spaces while providing the interior spaces with plenty of natural light. Centrally-located skylights work with the home’s open, airy floor plan to allow daylight to penetrate down to the bottom floor. The kitchen and dining area is a sublime integrated space that is enhanced by contrasting finishes. The bath features a full-height mirror that enhances its visual size and functionality. The sink and counter seem to hover in the middle of the space as a result.
Photos by Shintaro Fujiwara