compact house in tokyo by takuro yamamoto includes a large outdoor terrace compact house in tokyo by takuro yamamoto includes a large outdoor terrace
feb 14, 2016

compact house in tokyo by takuro yamamoto includes a large outdoor terrace

compact house in tokyo by takuro yamamoto includes a large outdoor terrace
all images courtesy of takuro yamamoto architects




this dwelling designed by japanese architect takuro yamamoto offers residents a large outdoor patio, despite its small footprint. located in a densely populated suburb of tokyo, the appropriately titled ‘little house with a big terrace’ was developed in close collaboration with its clients — a married couple seeking a better standard of urban living. in order to guarantee privacy, no windows face the passing street. instead, views are provided from the upper levels of the home towards the adjacent sundeck. ‘through the process of designing this house, we tried to prove that having a rich private external space was important for making a crucial difference in the quality of life inside the house, as well as obtaining various possibilities of external activity’, explains the architect.

the scheme is located in a densely populated suburb of tokyo




the property contains three primary storeys. at ground level the terrace forms the roof of a sheltered garage, with a second bedroom and bathroom also included. stairs lead upwards to the home’s living and cooking spaces, which are oriented towards the open-air patio. it is here where the clients are able to spend time outdoors, practicing yoga and tending to their plants. floor-to-ceiling glazing provides a constant source of natural light. ‘considering that the client’s original request was having a big terrace for doing yoga freely under the sun, connecting the terrace to the living room and the bedroom with big windows was the best way to offer fresh air and daylight to the internal spaces — like having respiratory organ to let the house breathe,’ continues takuro yamamoto.

at ground level the terrace forms the roof of a sheltered garage




the couple’s sleeping quarters are joined by a small study at the uppermost level, which also benefits from large retractable windows. to maximize daylight and views, the terrace has been made as wide as possible — a gesture that has resulted in reduced floor plates. consequently, the architect devised an area of storage, inserted between the first and second floors. ‘the most effective way to achieve real spaciousness in high density residential areas is to incorporate unlimited external spaces into the design, rather than trying to make internal spaces larger,’ adds the japanese architect.


see more work by takuro yamamoto on designboom here.

living space is oriented towards the open-air patio

the outdoor space allows the clients to spend time outdoors

floor-to-ceiling glazing provides a constant source of natural light

stairs leading to the home’s uppermost level

living space at the intermediate storey

the couple’s sleeping quarters are joined by a small study

takuro yamamoto architects little house with a big terrace tokyo japan designboom
access to a storage area is concealed within the staircase

views are provided from the upper levels of the home towards the adjacent sundeck

see more work by architect takuro yamamoto on designboom here



project info:


location: edogawa-ward, tokyo, japan
use: residence
site area: 70.13 sqm
building area: 41.91 sqm
total floor area: 74.63 sqm
completion: april, 2015
design period: february 2013 – august 2014
construction period: september 2014 – april 2015
structure: wood
architect: takuro yamamoto
structure design: yamada noriaki structural design office
construction: yamasho-kensetsu

  • The neighbours must love the huge empty wall blocking their view from the balconies. Excellent community building strategy on TYA’s part.

    Szabolcs Mezei says:
  • Clever and livable space, regardless of how compact. But what about privacy… no window coverings? And you couldn’t even scratch yourself on the sun deck without the whole neighborhood being aware.

    alaimo says:
  • As a builder of custom homes from 500 sf to 10,000 sf. The smaller homes offer interesting challenges with how to make best use of each sf. I like this home very much. More importantly, the client loves it.
    I would have suggested that the garage roof/terrace floor be lower, with a step down from living to terrace.
    Extend the bedroom floor out over the terrace and have additional interior space, while still having a large terrace.
    I know this is contrary to Takuro’s intent to achieve real spaciousness with exterior spaces. I would like to have built this home.

    Dan says:
  • No space for the untidy “Man shed” then ?

    Mark Dally says:
  • Very depressing place- doesn’t feel like a home. A two seater sofa in front of a telly, a table with two chairs, no books, no pictures, etc. No place to entertain, no place for children. Storage under the stairs- that’s all?

    Sumita says:
  • Minimal. Very depressing IMO. But maybe fits ok with the orient culture.

    Dave says:
  • i love your work!
    it is really very nice!
    the little house with a big terrace.

    greenpassive says:

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