We at Inhabitat love small houses, so we were excited to hear an NPR story on the small homes trend in Japan -- and when we say small we are talking about homes that are not much larger than a parking space. The Luck Drops house by architect Yasuhiro Yamashita is a remarkable case in point. Ten feet wide and three stories tall, the home exemplifies kyosho jutaku -- the micro home movement on the sometimes exorbitantly expensive island.
The Luck Drops’ bold design was bred from necessity. It’s located on a long and extremely narrow lot, so the architects were challenged to make the shelter feel open and airy while keeping it from becoming visually cramped. Mr.Yamashiita’s solution was to use flexible walls that provide copious amounts of daylight, framing the house like a paper lantern. The translucent walls give the entire house a warm glow. Three levels provide a sparse 60 square meters of living space — kitchen and bath below, living on the first floor and a sleeping loft above.
Yamashita’s unusual choice of construction materials keep the home’s walls from cramping the space. In a bow to traditional Japanese interior sparseness, the home is completely open — even the floors are perforated to allow light to penetrate and to preserve the home’s sense of space.