Japan is the home of extraordinary, contemporary house designs, and the minna-no-ie, designed by local practice mamm-design is a perfect illustration to this rule. The unassuming, simple two-and-a-half storey structure is located in a typically Tokyo residential quarter. Meaning, it’s incredibly small, as it had to start out from a tiny plot of 4.5 by 12 meters, completely surrounded by adjacent buildings. So how did the designers solve the problem of space and avoid a feeling of being cramped? They conceived of the entire project vertically, and when they were done, they added a six meter-tall garden room at the core of the house. Watch as plants spring from the ground and soar to the sky in this wonderful example of contemporary house designs. You will surely be amazed.
The tiny white house features a small cantilevering volume, shelter for the street level terrace right below it. You enter the house through a pair of floor-to-ceiling glazed doors, which also provide you with an opportunity to peer at the other end of the house, where the garden room stands. The open space has slate-toned brick flooring, which achieves the sensation of an outdoor plaza, adorned with a single, beautiful tree. Inside, generous skylights compensate for the lack of windows and allow the interior to permanently communicate with the exterior, as the light sways and shifts throughout the day. The private rooms are placed around the pivot of the main room, in an offset platform system. There’s a workshop on the upper level, with a view of the garden and a small study space and bedroom at the opposite end of the house. All rooms and areas are connected to the garden room, which creates a void at the core of the buildings.