In land-scarce Tokyo, making your home in the narrow leftover spaces between buildings may seem like a big sacrifice, but Japanese firm Atelier HAKO Architects proves that it doesn’t have to feel that way. The architects slotted the skinny three-story Honmachi Residence into a slim lot that, despite its four-meter-wide width (13 feet), feels surprisingly spacious on the inside.
Located in Shibuya, the skinny 70-square-meter family home is clad in horizontal metal panels for a smart utilitarian appearance. A large volume is cut out from the front of the building to form a shaded porch leading to a recessed front door. Windows punctuate all sides of the home to let in natural light and ventilation, while the rooftop offers access to a private outdoor space.
To make the narrow building’s four-meter-wide width feel as spacious as possible, the architects minimized wall dividers and used slight level changes to demarcate different rooms. In the second floor’s open-plan common area, for example, the living room is separated from the dining room and kitchen area by a few stairs. All walls are painted white to reflect light and, aided by two skylights, bring natural light deep into the home. A spiral staircase connects all three floors, from the ground level with the master bedroom to the top floor with two capsule bedrooms and a bathroom.
Images via Atelier HAKO Architects, by URBAN ARTS/Shinsuke Kera