The imai house

Despite the mixed reviews I’ve read, there’s something about the imai house I find appealing.

This was the three-metre-wide plot of land available for the build.

imai house

And here’s the same plot post-construction.

imai house

The ground floor is recessed to make room for a sheltered driveway at the front, where a wall slides open to lead into a kitchen and dining room that takes up most of the ground floor.

imai house

imai house

“We adopted a way to construct a house by reinterpreting scale, natural light, and the use of each room,” said the architects.

imai house

imai house

imai house

Completed in 2013 in Okazaki, Japan, the house has an “internal courtyard” on the first floor and a small roof deck on top to add as much light as possible.

imai house

imai house

imai house

Designed by Katsutoshi Sasaki + Associates. Via Shoebox Dwelling.

A skilful use of light and space.

For Japanese architecture on an even narrower plot, have a look at Waro Kishi’s 1992 house in Nipponbashi, downtown Osaka.

Or for a pad I’d happily move into today, Chalet C7 (from the archives).

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  1. This is a beautiful idea.

    I wonder what it’s like to actually move around and live in it. It photographs well and I hope the actual experience holds to this virtual experience. Whether it does or doesn’t, I enjoy that the home is a thing that pushed against its limitations to dare to create something cozy.

  2. Great use of space, I love its simplicity.

  3. This is a more stylish version of what I imagined Toru’s house would be like in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

  4. I personally would feel the walls closing in on me. I don’t think I could live in a corridor. Nice idea though and I’m sure a life-saver for many people.

  5. When I took an architecture course four years ago, the professor spent a great deal of time discussing how architecture is not the art of building walls, but of shaping space. The course completely changed how I perceive buildings.

    That being said, what was not touched on greatly in the course is how architecture also shapes light, which this home is a great example of. Thanks for sharing, David–you have the cogs in my brain spinning in an entirely new direction now!

  6. Interior design at its best. Unfortunately the concept will never fly in Africa where clutter rules every home interior… unfortunately.

  7. I absolutely adore this concept – so many new builds (in the UK at least) seem so uninspiring. But was there no way at all they could have included more windows? The street side in particular looks like it could. (Is it because of insulation?)

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