Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates built this skinny house on a extremely narrow site in the residential district of Aichi Prefecture in Japan. A house built on a strip of land of 3m wide and 21m long. For this ground that looks too long and tight, we adopted a way to construct a house by reinterpreting scale, natural light, and the use of each room instead of setting one concept to design it. We made 5 specific proposals.
Text and images © Katsutoshi Sasaki Associates
Balancing of scale and light
Height of each room is adjusted according to the number of users and the use of the room. For example, children’s bedroom is 1.3m high while the living room is 4.4m. The room used by one person has limited natural light while the space people gather is much brighter. Balancing of scale and light bring a character to simple one room.
Exterior on the edge
The ground was too narrow to allow any space for garden, so we set an inner garden at the end of the ground floor and a terrace on the north end of the second floor. High window in the living room is designed not only to let in light, but also to provide ventilation route in summer to discharge the heat accumulated up on the ceiling plane.
By dismantling living room and dining room, we avoided large area concentrated to one place. As these spaces that have public nature are dispersed, lines of flow work effectively. Also, by deconcentrating the factors required to children’s room such as sleep, storage or study, we can reduce the floor space of children’s bedroom while sharing space for other functions of storage and study by entire family.
We suggested the way of living to utilize the space other than wet areas (kitchen, bathroom etc) without restricting its purpose. In sum, the space setting becomes neutral; you can sleep, dine or relax whenever you like. For example, dining in inner garden may be more enjoyable than in dining room.
By overlapping multiple uses on one space, efficiency of floor space is improved. Corridor as desk space, inner garden as dining or guest room, and so on. This narrow and long building that could be described as all lines of flow, is designed as functional, effective and liberating space by applying these operations.