Japan’s progressive zoning regulations mean that slipping a creative home onto an awkwardly small slice of property is practically a national pastime. But with an entrance measuring just six and a half feet wide, this Tokyo house from Mount Fuji Architects is odder than most. The extraordinarily slim structure faces the street with a boxy, almost bunker-like facade.
But through the front door, visitors are greeted by a narrow hall lined with built-in wood shelving, serving as both storage and a gallery of the miniature artworks created by one of the homeowners. Her desk-sized workspace is at the back of the gallery, beside a set of floor-to-ceiling windows leading out in to a green courtyard. A wall-mounted ladder above the workspace leads to a book-lined office above.
But this “gatehouse” building is just a pass-through to the slightly larger and homier living space beyond the interior courtyard. The bottom floor is taken up by the master bedroom—barely larger than the bed—and a full bathroom with a shower and soaking tub. Upstairs is the main living space and kitchen, with an entire wall of glass. The room follows the recent trend of using pervasive wood paneling to make the space feel bigger. Ample shelving and cabinets provide storage space.
Take a video tour, below.