Unusual Japanese Homes – No space then how?


As Singapore faces an increasing problem of overpopulation, the need for sufficient housing becomes a top priority. Looking to Japan as an example, we can learn from Japanese architects who have made creative use of limited spaces and came up with fantastic designs while maintaining the aesthetic beauty of the houses.

Spiral, Ehime

Perfect for all you single ladies (and dudes) out there, Be-Fun Design came up with four narrow houses in a small area of 60 square metres. This unusual concept allows each household to occupy four levels instead of having one or two families per level.

One common design in a lot of Japanese homes is the lack of internal partitioning, which makes the house look more spacious and removes unnecessary clutter.

Everything is compact and cosy, where each level serves as a space with different functions – bedroom, bathroom, study room etc.

Photographs by Hiroyuki Hirai / Be-Fun Design.

Imai House, Aichi

Straying away from the conventional design of stacking upwards in order to save space, Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates came up with the idea to build an elongated house instead.

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This skinny house is only 3m wide but runs for 21m and even has a second storey. Rooms were arranged sequentially but without segregation.


My favourite take from this that you can use the rooms for overlapping purposes, such as dining in the garden or studying in the corridor (just add a desk).

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Photographs via Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates.

Pit House, Okayama

As the name suggests, having your house below ground level is also another way to overcome space constraints. UID Architects incorporated the design of the home into its location – onto the side of a hill.


As the idea is to connect architecture with the environment, the indoor living spaces were mostly made from wood and created with circular hollows and curves.


Meanwhile, the house looks like a wooden box from afar.


Photographs by Hiroshi Ueda, Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Inc via UID Architects.




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