Unemori Architects designs 26-square-metre house in Tokyo

Apr 26, 2021
  • Article by Online Editor

Japanese practice Unemori Architects has delivered the ultimate tiny house in a densely populated area of central Tokyo.

Dubbed House Tokyo, the home for a couple with no children has a footprint of just 26 square metres and a total floor area of 51 square metres.

Making use of a suspended structure, the architects installed ceilings varying from 1.9 metres to 4.7 metres and large windows to create a compact, yet spacious interior.

Unemori addressed the vicinity of neighbouring buildings by placing the home slightly away from the sight boundaries to allow more light and better air circulation into the house.

“While each floor is assigned a function, the spaces are connected through open floor plans and offset levels which enlarge the space and counter the smallness of the house,” explains the practice.

“Additionally, thanks to the suspended structure and exterior design of House Tokyo the air and daylight circulation was improved.”

The “geometrically structured” framework features partially set back outer walls, which increase their surface. Covered first in cement, then industrial corrugated iron on the facade, the wooden framework has been left exposed throughout the interiors.

Large windows open the house up to its surroundings and break up the facade.

On the semi-basement ground floor, the bedroom, bathroom and storage area are simply adorned with white walls and exposed timber.

The open plan kitchen and dining areas are housed on the first floor under the wood beams of the house’s framework, while a small terrace area completes project. A folded metal staircase connects the levels.

Cyprus plywood was used throughout the interiors. On the floors, it alternates with terracotta porcelain tiles in the living spaces and black cherry in the bedroom and bathroom.

Unemori Architects designed all the furniture for the home, which it says is deliberately scaled back and minimalist as the clients lead busy lives, dining outside and using public baths often.

“The client has a very busy, urban lifestyle, so the city is their extended house,” says Unemori Architects.

“They use House Tokyo for sleeping, working, and living.” 

Photography: Kai Nakamura and Unemori Architects.

Unemori Architects is based in central Tokyo. The practice was founded in 2009 by Hiroyuki Unemori and delivers works ranging from private residences, public facilities and universities to libraries and playgrounds. 

In 2018, Danish design maverick Bjarke Ingels proposed a 100 per cent recyclable tiny house with a pitched roof and angled walls.

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