House in Ujinahigashi | MAKER
This small house in Hiroshima might not attract much attention from passersby were it not for the blue roofing material applied to the walls. Taking a closer look, they might notice the lack of windows. Looking through the photos though, what really caught our eye was how expansive the living space seemed despite its small size. That sense of expansiveness can be attributed to the soaring roof that expands the main living space twenty feet vertically to the ridge and a further nine feet horizontally over the bathroom. Of course we’ve seen lots of small houses that use high ceilings to make small spaces feel larger, but here the effect is particularly striking.
The house was designed by architectural studio MAKER in collaboration with architect Yoshio Oono. A natural question to ask is, why didn’t they use all that overhead space to create a larger third floor? We can only guess that either the owners didn’t need more space, or they were already at the maximum floor area permitted for a lot that small.
The 75 m2 (807 ft2) floor plan puts the bedroom at ground level with the main living areas above. Stairs give access to a loft space overlooking the living area that is plenty large enough to serve as a second bedroom. Like many houses in Japan, this one has a “Japanese-style” room floored with tatami mats. Here the Japanese-style room is separated from the rest of the floor by sliding doors. With the doors open, the room can be used informally as part of the main living space. Closing the doors creates a formal reception room or a guest bedroom.
With privacy a concern in the crowded urban area and no pleasant outlooks available, the architects kept the windows to a minimum, instead offering a view of the sky. A huge skylight takes up much of the east-facing roof, making the space feel open to the sky. Natural light makes for a more pleasant living environment, and this small house provides plenty of it.
Be sure to check out the photo gallery, then have a great weekend!
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Photographs by Noriyuki Yano, courtesy of MAKER. Via ArchDaily.
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