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Unusually-Shaped Japanese Tiny House Even Has a Built-In Parking Spot
Tiny houses are often proof of extraordinary architecture and interior design because their greatest inherent challenge is to provide comfort and functionality despite the strict limitations. So, ingenious and unusual solutions must be found to make that happen. This family home in Japan took on an even greater challenge and turned out to be an architectural gem.

Unusually-Shaped Japanese Tiny House Even Has a Built-In Parking Spot

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One of the things that Japan is notorious for is the limited space for urban development. With a huge percentage of its landmass represented by mountains and forests, this country’s metropolitan centers became very crammed. Some have described it as “a nation obsessed with making things as small as possible,” so its micro dwellings (from apartments and homes to hotels) became famous around the world.

Today, there’s a frenzy to build off-grid yet comfy tiny homes in remote, natural areas, as far away from civilization as possible. But it seems to be even more challenging to build a similar home in a very busy urban center, surrounded by larger buildings, with very little space available. This is what this awesome tiny house accomplished.

The plot of land that was available was not only small but had a difficult triangular shape, yet this house turned out to be a beautiful home that’s perfectly comfortable for a small family, with a bright and spacious interior, a versatile loft, a charming terrace, and even an integrated parking spot.

Architect Kota Mizuishi from the Mizuishi Architect Atelier designed this unusual house in Horinouchi, in west Tokyo, a decade ago. From the outside, especially from a bird's eye view, the dwelling looks incredibly narrow, and it’s almost hard to believe that a couple and their daughter could live comfortably inside. But the asymmetric design and sharp lines reveal a surprisingly spacious layout, with all the amenities of a modern home.

The Horinouchi tiny house is also called The River Side House because it overlooks a river, and Mizuishi imagined this space in relation to that river. Built on a triangular plot of land, the two-story house only covers 55 square meters (594 square feet).

Unlike typical tiny homes, this one has the master bedroom on the ground floor, while the kitchen and the living area are upstairs. The bedroom is luminous and minimalistic, and the bathroom is big enough to include a bathtub.

A staircase leads to the upper floor, where the kitchen, the living area, and a spare room are integrated into an open space design. The kitchen is well equipped, and it includes a large fridge and plenty of storage space. There’s also a large dining table for the entire family. The living room is different than the standard Western concept, as it doesn’t feature a cozy couch or a lounging area. Furniture was kept to a minimum, with no tall pieces that would make the space seem crammed. On the contrary, the large windows make it appear even larger than it really is.

The large glass areas were specifically chosen to offer beautiful views, a lot of natural sunlight, and warmth. There’s also discrete air conditioning throughout. Although equipped with modern amenities, the house exudes a traditional Japanese minimalistic style with natural colors and materials.

Due to this remarkable open space layout, where doors were apparently not welcome, you can get a great view of the loft from both the kitchen and the living space. That’s very convenient because the small loft was designed as a playroom for the family’s little girl, so the parents could easily keep an eye on her. But the loft with high-vaulted ceilings is also versatile enough to be used as an office room.

Unlike American homes, Japanese houses don’t typically have space for patios or garages. But the Horinouchi tiny house cleverly included both a terrace and a small parking spot. Large sliding glass doors in the living area provide access to a narrow terrace with metallic railings for uninterrupted views.

The home’s unusual geometry was also used to create a small, sheltered parking spot outside, at the tip of the triangle-shaped plot of land. Yes, it’s only big enough for one vehicle, but it’s impressive considering the limited surface that was available and the home’s positioning.

A surprising tiny construction in the “urban jungle,” with a head-turning design, the Horinouchi tiny house is inspirational to this day. It proves that modern design and traditional style can be used to turn even an oddly-shaped space into a comfortable home.

 
 
 
 
 

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