Corridor, hallway by 藤原・室 建築設計事務所

A brilliantly space-efficient narrow home

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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Today we're heading to Japan to explore a newly built narrow home with a completely unique glass corridor. The building site is just 42sqm, but the architects, Fujiwarramuro, have managed to create a two-level home of nearly 49sqm.

It was built for a gentleman who lives alone so there wasn't the need for much privacy within the home itself. But, as usual, when working with a small space, it was important to create a sense of lightness. This is where the glass central area comes into play. It provides a huge amount of illumination without intruding on the floor space at all. But really, the practical benefits are just an aside with a home like this. It's the stunning modern shapes and unique glass design that really demands attention. Let's go inside!

Narrow facade with glass window panels

The exterior has a sublime geometric design. The soft grey walls make for a subdued accompaniment to the stunning windows. There is one tall glass door and a series of window panels. Although you can see quite clearly into the central corridor, the horizontal window panels are placed for privacy. Note how the simple Zen-style Japanese garden mirrors the design.

Central glass corridor of light

Narrow homes almost always suffer from a lack of natural light because there is often no space for side windows. Clearly this isn't an issue in the living room of this home. The central glass corridor allows copious amounts of natural light to flow throughout the interior, giving the home a light ambiance that is almost transcendental.

Built in furnishings

In a home as narrow as this, it's crucial to keep things simple. As a result, the architect has furnished the home with built-in units that match the walls, floors and stairs to create one seamless wooden finish. The uniformity of finish gives the home that essential, pared back feel. It also allows us to focus on the beauty of the essential form of the structure. See here how the built-in shelves further accentuate the striking geometric design of the windows.

Glass floor

Glass floors are an ingenious feature in any small home or mezzanine because they allow light to pass throughout the home without gobbling up floor space. They are also quite practical because the central area of any narrow room often doubles as a passageway anyway. In a room like this the furniture could be pushed up against the wall to attractive effect.

A night view

This evening view gives us a sense of the surprising amount of privacy within the bedroom level. The windows are carefully designed to look out onto a neighbours roof so there is very little loss of privacy. For a urban home, this interior view also has a very quiet, contemplative feel. We love the little built-in study. It has a very Japanese minimalist aesthetic.

Sleeping alcove

The bedroom is little more than a simple wooden alcove. The architect stated that he designed the bedroom as a place to enjoy the night sky and occasionally glimpses of the moon. Whatever the weather, this is certainly a home in which to enjoy the rising and falling of the sun. It's a minimalist home with a natural heart.

For more small home ideas, have a look at Modern and elegant living: A simple white home.

What do you think of the central light well in this beautiful little home?
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