Tsubomi House / Flat House

Tsubomi House / Flat House

Tsubomi House / Flat House - Image 2 of 24Tsubomi House / Flat House - Handrail, BeamTsubomi House / Flat House - Shelving, Beam, HandrailTsubomi House / Flat House - Windows, BeamTsubomi House / Flat House - More Images+ 19

Tokyo, Japan
  • Architects: Flat House
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  77
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2010
  • Photographs
    Photographs: Takumi Ota
Tsubomi House / Flat House - Windows, Facade
©  Takumi Ota

Text description provided by the architects. The footprint of this house, including the biscuit shop that is part of the house, is only 26m2. The entire house is divided into seven split levels without partitions and all levels are connected by a staircase situated in the middle of the house.  From the shop on the ground floor, this metal staircase connects the kitchen and the dining on 1.5 level, then the living space on 2 level, and finally the sleeping area on the top floor that is shared by all family members.  The second set of concrete steps continue from the ground floor to the basement, housing the shop and its bathroom.

Tsubomi House / Flat House - Handrail
©  Takumi Ota

Every split level is small – there is barely enough space to place essential furniture.  But each space feels sufficient and roomy. This is because all spaces are divided and isolated by different levels but connect one space from another.  This gives a feeling that each resident lives in multiple small spaces yet one large space simultaneously.


Almost all interior surfaces are made of larch plywood. Each panel is cut into a parallelogram and laid out in herringbone pattern. This pattern is repeated on the ivory façade made of galvanized steel sheets and consistently applied to the exterior as well as the interior, evoking more three-dimensional experience. Today, people communicate, get information and watch television by mobile phones or smartphones in a public space, like an inside train. Each family member already has his/her private media even without his/her own private room. So, no one feels the inconvenience.

Tsubomi House / Flat House - Windows, Facade
©  Takumi Ota

With every space being so small and further without walls, it can be advantageous - residents can move quickly from one space to another. This constant movement can be compared to “mutters of Twitter” where short messages are sent out through the internet. Each space is very small but every action in these small spaces is unique.  And the various actions connect one another.  Sometimes, the wife stands talking with a customer in the biscuit shop on the first level, then drinks a cup of tea at the dining space on the 1.5 level, then moves up to the second level and watch TV, all in a very small time frame. We hope the house resembles a closed flower bud squeezed into a metropolis.

Tsubomi House / Flat House - Image 2 of 24
©  Takumi Ota

Originally published on December 17, 2014.

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About this office
Cite: "Tsubomi House / Flat House" 16 Dec 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/578076/tsubomi-house-flat-house> ISSN 0719-8884

©  Takumi Ota

日本住宅 Tsubomi / FLAT HOUSE

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