If the Hidaki house in Saitama-ken, Japan is anything to go by, great green things come in small packages! At only 95.76 square meters, this adorable little home expresses the owners’ devotion to nature from the outside in. By banking earth up against the transparent lower floor, Japanese designers Suppose Design created a continuation of the outside landscape on the inside. To protect against soil pressure, the upper floor is jacked up on huge, unfinished rock slabs. The combined use of passive design and modest dimensions culminates in a truly sustainable home – even for the tiny island of Japan.
The lower level of the home is wrapped in glazing, which wards off excessive solar gain. To further aid in passive cooling, the stacked upper level overhangs the bottom, creating shade as well as privacy. Since the home is so small, it was necessary to make optimum use of space.
The low walls are not just structural – they are also used as places to sit, for shelving, or as a table. They also act as the landing for the stairs leading to the upper level and outside. Both the floor and ceiling were constructed using diatomaceous earth with a plaster finish, oak and white ash flooring is used in moderation, and the upper level of the home is wrapped in steel.