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Spacious Tokyo home rises on narrow site

A study in how to maximize space

narrow tokyo house Photos by Toshiyuki Yano via Designboom

If you can’t build out, you’ve got to build up. That’s the thinking behind the latest extra-narrow home in Japan. Architecture firm Akio Nakasa designed the A-1 house to fit on a peculiarly shaped lot in a dense residential neighborhood in Tokyo.

From the street, the house appears as a sliver of wood sandwiched between two other homes. But follow a stone walkway, and the house begins to twist at subtle angles, curving into a slim L shape.

The architects designed the interior space to take advantage of its narrow profile. A steep stairway leads from the first and second floors—which are split into apartments and rented out—up to the owner’s residence on the top floor.

Dining area with built-in wood bench
Black metal staircase leading and wood floor landing

The main living space has an angled shed roof supported by wooden angle braces instead of traditional bearing walls, which would block views and overwhelm the slight space.

Sunny room with green couch

The home also has some clever space-saving details like wall cavities that function as built-in bookshelves and cabinets that give the walls a wood paneled look that can be used as storage.

Via: Designboom