To some of us in the United States, big is usually better. When we move from our first home to the next one, it’s often bigger. Take a look at the home of just about any celebrity…it’s likely to be several thousand square feet with equally lavish exteriors.
Oprah’s home in Hawaii (Source: Msnbc.com)
Celine Dion’s home with mini water park in Florida (Source: UsWeekly.com)
The Japanese have a different idea about luxury, some of which come packaged in 300 square feet surroundings. Because of limited space, the Japanese have gotten very creative with designing homes that are ultra-functional, yet tiny. As you might have guessed, there are a few things that are eliminated, like hallways and closets. Sometimes, a curtain replaces a wall, furniture is tucked away into a wall, and odd shapes are welcomed.
According to Tokyo architect Yasuhiro Yamashita, “Using all three dimensions, we can make a space look larger, and more functional. It becomes easier to devise ways of bringing in more light and air.” Homeowners also describe their micro-homes as comfortable and I’m sure a few transformers would come in handy. I wonder what the electric bill is like…
Origami house with car port designed by Yasuhiro Yamashita (Source: OrigamiBlog.com)
Designers indulge in fantasy, like asymmetrical walls, cantilevered floors, or cover their houses in a translucent skin, in order to exploit all available natural light.
Home designed by Yasuhiro Yamashita built on a 40-ft wide area. He named it “Lucky Drops.” (Source: WorldArchitecture.org)
All light enters “Lucky Drops” from the top, like a paper lantern. (Source: WorldArchitecture.org)
If you tried to build a normal house on a super-small plot of land, it would end up being really cramped. So in order to make the house as roomy as possible, we have to think up new structures and assembly.
Another home designed by Yasuhiro Yamashita that he dubbed “Cell Brick.” (Source:Inhabitat.com)
Lots of storage space in “Cell Brick.” (Source:Inhabitat.com)
*Update: See the latest Japanese ultra-compact home here. ~Deb | 10.25.10