Unusual Japanese Homes – No space then how?


Both Singapore and Japan’s top cities are densely populated, hence the lack of space is common to both countries. However, Japanese architects have unleashed their creativity to create some fantastic designs to overcome this problem, while maintaining the aesthetic beauty of the house.

Here are three alternatives to maximise space:

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.

Photographs from 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 from 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 Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Inc.




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