Guest House Tokyo by Masahiro Kinoshita
and Yu Sakuma



Masahiro Kinoshita of KINO architects and Yu Sakuma of SAK architects have designed a small house in the suburbs of Tokyo.


The four-storey house is shared by the owner and a tenant, who occupies the second floor.


Photographs by Hiroyuki Hirai.


Here's some more information from the architects:


"Guest House Tokyo"

Small piece of land / Fragment of a dream
The site is in a suburb of Tokyo. This is a high-density residential area. The site is only about 46 square meters. Before, there was a detached house on this site. In Tokyo, this size of house is not rare. It's called "Small house". This type of house was the dream for a nuclear household. They wanted a detached house. But, recently the nuclear household is decreasing, while a one-person household is increasing in Japan.


We have taken the old nuclear household dream and adjusted it to today's one-person's household reality. This project is one of them. We built a small apartment on this site. Basement floor, loft, and the first floor are the owner's house. She lives alone there, and she rented out the second floor for one person.


The comfort of living alone
The owner requested a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, guest room, terrace, garage, bath, toilet, storage and rented room. First, we felt that we couldn't fit all these rooms in this small building. In these cases, we usually follow a standard procedure. We reduce the number of rooms by making one multi purpose room.


However, this time, we did it took another way, because we heard the following opinion from the owner "I want my home to be cozy." This opinion inspired the following result. We reduced the size of each room. In this way, we could fit all the rooms in this building, and, we could create the comfort of living alone.


Architects: Masahiro Kinoshita / KINO architects, Yu Sakuma / SAK architects
Principal use: apartment
Structure: wooden, partly reinforced concrete
Scale of building: 1basement and 2 stories
Structural engineer : Yasushi Moribe







Posted on Sunday September 7th 2008 at 11:30 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • NMiller

    Amazing spaces and an excellent use of space for such a small site! The diagram isn’t very informative when it comes to understanding the space planning… can we see plans and sections??

  • *MIRTEC*

    love the way they mix functions… living small.. bigtime..

  • MarkJ

    For such a tiny house, it’s an incredibly complicated relationship between the different elements of the building. But it works! to create very interesting spaces. It’s very impressive. I particularly like the first floor with the terrace and staircase cutting into the living areas.

  • One

    Man inhabit anything, said RK. The bed room is interesting. How small is this?

  • Vico


  • eduardo

    which bedROOM?!

  • d

    im kinda missing the pictures of aquired space, i mean by the owner, maybe throw in some furniture put a dog on the picture… to give it some scale, cause i dont know how small or comfy the space can feel, once it has some stuff in it.

  • Daffy

    Very similar to Susuki House from bolles+wilson.

  • maxhsbib

    Isn’t that the jail on the USS Enterprise?

  • edward

    Trust the Japanese to give us something worth study. And yes is is remarkably similar to the Susuki house but then the conditions were very similar.

  • themark

    If sitting in a cold, stark, corner is your idea of cozy, this is the place for you. Not a place for living.

  • JuiceMajor²

    Small and compact…I like it!

  • Nice work, but I do think it’s a little too white and stark to be termed cozy. But then this seems to be the case with a lot of Japanese architects’ work. And as long as the occupant herself feels ‘cozy’ inside, that’s a good job done.

    In small spaces like this, efficient allocation of spaces makes all the difference, and it’s clear the architect put much thoughts into this. Bravo!

  • B1f, Loft, 1f, 2f is the order of floors from bottom to top. God that took me a while to figure out from looking at the plans and that silly diagram.

    Interesting house… I would like to try living in something like that, but not for too long!

  • sc hu yl er

    Really tough to understand from the plans. Always interesting to see what the Japanese transform a closet into a home, but the owners bedroom is really hard to swallow…

  • sc hu yl er

    I mean, if those are 9″ risers on the stairs, the ceiling height for the bedroom is in the neighborhood of 5′? Am I crazy?

  • edward

    The loft shows a height of 1400 which must mean mm or 4.56ft. So she’s not tall! But she could use the guest room in preference when not occupied. Also she shares the facilities with the guest. So it’s a different culture! But to be fair she must need the rental space so is willing to give up a lot. But is this the best solution.

  • JJ Mckay

    So over these houses in Tokyo. They all look alike.
    “Fragment of a dream” is right. Snoooze!