Posted by admin
on February 2, 2012 in Home Ideas & Plans
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We often hear that building small means building green. Although, I cannot say I always agree that small equals eco, there is certain sense in this statement. At least, heating and electricity is much cheaper in a smaller house. I don’t know if the Tokyo architectural firm Mizuishi Architect Atelier had eco houses in mind when they built this peculiar building.
The River House
The fact is that dictated by the awkward building site, they didn’t have another option but build small. They were given a 52 sq. metre triangular site squashed between a river and a road. One of the biggest challenges was that the house had to conform with the strict Tokyo building regulations and at the same time provide a pleasant living space for the owners – a couple and their small child.
It was also important to create a harmonious relationship with the near-by promenade, the river and the architectural style of the adjoining houses.
Mizuishi Architect Atelier named the house “Kawa Ni Yorisou Ie” which means “House nestling in the river” in Japanese.
The footprint of the Kawa Ni Yorisou Ie is only 29 sq. metres but because it is laid out over three levels, they’ve managed a total habitable area of 55 sq. metres.
Ground Floor Plan
As you can see from the floor plan, the layout is not what you traditionally see in a British home. The ground floor comprises a bathroom and master bedroom divided from the hall merely by sliding curtains.
1st Storey Floor Plan
The first floor is where all the action takes place – there’s a living room with a cheeky little balcony and a spacious kitchen/diner. Also on the 1st floor there’s a spare room that is currently used by the owners as a library. From the spare room there’s a step-ladder leading to the loft space.
This tiny house is very compact and sustainable but as you can see from the pictures, it is by no means claustrophobic or crammed. This effect of lightness and airiness is achieved through open-plan layouts, irregular shapes and lots of windows.
Mizuishi Architect Atelier has built this house mainly from wood. The top two levels are nicely clad in metal sheets. Yeah, and the whole thing somehow resembles a boat – very appropriate for a river-side dwelling.
You just cannot stop wondering how much living space can an architect actually pack inside such a small footprint. A great little project!
Photography courtesy of Hiroshi Tanigawa.
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