Most of the small houses from Japan that we’ve looked at so far have been on very small lots in dense urban areas. The architects were faced with maximizing the livability within a very small building envelope. Today’s small house is on a relatively large lot in the suburban town of Chikuzen, Japan. It faces an open wheat field to the northeast with views of distant mountains, but has neighbors on the other three sides. With a flat barren lot, the challenge was to create a sense of protection and privacy.
Architect Kazuya Matsuda of Design nico Architects was asked to design a small house for a couple and their future children. He split the 107.3 m2 (1,155 ft2) house into two rectangular volumes, the social areas in one and the private areas in the other. Separate gable roofs on each volume gives the house a strong visual identity.