The owners of this small family home in Japan wanted a house that would accommodate their family of four as well as their small beauty salon business. A key challenge was to get some open space on the small site while maintaining privacy from the neighboring houses close by on three sides. Architects Studio Velocity responded by designing a saltbox-style home whose asymettrical roof encloses both indoor and outdoor spaces. Several large openings are carved into the steeply-pitched roof to form protected terraces that provide access to light, air and views.
The beauty salon is at the front of the house, occupying about a third of the ground floor. The rest of the space is devoted to a compact living area and the main bathroom. A narrow walled terrace alongside the house serves as a sheltered entry court and, being immediately adjacent to the kitchen, also provides a small space for outdoor dining.
On the second floor are the three bedrooms. A void in the middle of the second floor provides a double-height ceiling for the living room below. The parent’s room has an adjacent small study that opens onto a private outdoor sitting area. The two children’s rooms open onto a second terrace which has a ship’s ladder leading up to the next level.
The top of the house is one large outdoor space, partially protected by the roof and partially open to the sky. The roof terrace is high enough to allow views over the neighboring rooftops to the distant mountains.
If you like the idea of having one large protective roof enclose both indoor and outdoor spaces, have a look at the similar 47% House by Kochi Architect’s Studio.
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