Text description provided by the architects. Walking down a Midosuji main street to the area with mid-to-high-rise residential and commercial buildings, suddenly a residential area filled densely with two storey wooden houses appeared. YMT-house is located in this area and measures just 49.5 square meter with 4m open width and 11m depth. In this limited condition, the client firstly required spacious living room for family of four, and then private rooms, enough storage, and the rooftop. To enrich and enhance life style while meeting all these requirements, the project focuses on the scale difference between each room.
Bathroom is located on the ground floor and the living room is on the first and above floor. There is about 1.4m height difference between living room and dinging and kitchen space on the first floor which gradually divide one LDK into two separate space. Step-wise floor in the middle of the room create variety of sight view and it can be used as playground or multi-functional activity space for kids bringing excitement in daily life. A bed room above LDK is just three tatami-mat with storage, and kids’ room is about four tatami-mat with furnished desks and beds for two. To minimizing each private room by furnishing vertical storage enable create spacious LDK features open ceiling, where family gathered.
Half of the upper part of the bed room is a combination storage and study room, the rest of space provide staircase to rooftop. Instead of having handrail, the extended wall creates enclosed space which promote smooth visual axis to the sky while shutting out from gaze of others. As a second living room, this outdoor space can be used for variety of activities such as BBQ or setting inflatable swimming pool for kids.
Regarding to house structure, there is no corridor but most of the room are connected directly to the staircase. This staircase is not only functioned as a vertical moving line but also provide enclosed space for reading books or having a break. Like a furniture, step-wise floor at the living room and other private rooms including bed room, kids’ room, and study room are made with Japanese cypress where it could get direct contact with the skin. To experience the scale difference between architecture and furniture in the narrow space creates optical illusion, which help transform LDK and rooftop feel more spacious.
To make the most of the space by minimizing space as much as possible while maximizing the space for living room, and this scale difference experience suggests new possibility of small house design.