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Extraordinary Japanese Micro-Home Built From A Grid Of Boxes
Posted By Andrew Michler On August 10, 2010 @ 1:00 am In Architecture,Green Building | 6 Comments
Architect Yasuhiro Yamashita, who brought us the Lucky Drops micro-house, displays his playful vision of small-space living in this Cell Brick home located in Tokyo. This fascinating Japanese micro home is built from a series of steel boxes that are stacked like bricks and extended through the interior to provide endless shelving. The tiny lot (not much wider than the crosswalk) holds a two story home with a basement and creates a hypnotic interior that is a joy in form and function. The windows set into the wall’s grid are simply spaces between the boxes.
Photo by Reinhard Hunger for The New York Times
The home’s interior spaciousness is enhanced by a well-lit visual grid that creates tremendous depth. The home’s walls consist of a series of a boxes  measuring 900mm wide × 450mm high × 300mm deep that are bolted together, providing a sturdy support system in this earthquake-prone region. Between each horizontal box is a small window that provides diffuse light from the surrounding city while maintaining privacy. The exterior is clad in low-maintenance ceramic tile, which enhances its thermal performance and helps to insulate the interior from the noise of the street.
The home combines a kitchen, living room and bedroom on the main floor. A small basement, an upper floor, and a roof deck complete the floor plan. The box’s gridded interior  allows for robust storage, eliminating the need for furniture. The design is a fascinating example of the micro home movement in Japan that was bred from prohibitively expensive land prices. The money saved by building on such a small lot was used to create a unique and powerful vision instead.
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