Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier


Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

Ladders link the first floor, mezzanine and skylight of this house in Sapporo, Japan, by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

Called Small Box House, the three-storey residence has a dining room on the ground floor, living area and bedroom upstairs and a mezzanine level beyond that.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

The interior is clad in wood while the white-painted structure criss-crosses the space.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

Photographs are by Koji Sakai.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

The information that follows is from Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier:

Small Box House

The residence is built on the western hillside of Mt. Moiwa, overlooking the city of Sapporo.

From the casual lifestyle of the client and his wife, and also the request to have a part of the house turn into a cafe in the future, we aimed to create a space to be flexible to support events, such as the new birth of a child and opening a new cafe, where various life-scenes existing with reasonable distances to each other inside a simple void, like a barn.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

The floor, handrails, walls, and also curtains, passing the light through, exist lightly inside each life scenes, so the indication of the residents flow continuously without any distraction. Where is the relaxing space as a living room for the family? Could it be next to the kitchen? Or on the second floor? Various heights in the ceiling and the openings are designed to lead the residents to find a such space in this void.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

This client have a sense of enjoying some negative aspects for most people, as positive elements to enrich the daily life, such as siding deteriorations, limited equipments and materials due to the low cost, and snow removal during the winter.

Small Box House by Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier

Photography is by Koji Sakai.

Project name: Small Box House
Use: Housing
Location: Sapporo, Hokkaido, ,Japan
Site area: 345㎡
Building area: 57㎡
Gross floor area: 93㎡
Design period: 2008 ~ 2009
Construction period: 2009

  • atite

    wow… it looks big.. congrats!

  • Great feeling for a box house!

  • …like the Tardis. Lovely ambiance inside too!

  • emmet

    there never seems to be any handrails or balustrades in japanese residential projects – how do they get around building regs and can we do it in the uk

    • woody

      this isn't exactly a family home so i guess child proofing wasnt really an issue i wouldn't mind living here

  • kevtrout

    The only way to get between floors are ladders? Really? @emmet forget lack of balustrades…I can't imagine carrying a newborn baby up a ladder 25 times a day. At what age does a child learn to climb a ladder without falling off?

    I bet in one year there is a new stair case built and railings/balustrades built across the mezzanine. Codes and regulations exist to protect people, not to figure out how to get around.

    • e1027

      don't panic! i think there's a (presumably conventional) stair and handrail peeking into the second photo – from ground to 1st (main) floor. Also the 1st floor has a continuous and quite substantial looking ballustrade – pretty normal stuff. ladder is to get to platform level and roof only

  • Kris Adams

    Kev, further pictures on the architects website show an actual staircase in the design…

    Architectural photographers don't always meet the demands of health and safety hungry critics…

  • Great job, a very warm and relaxing atmosphere. I agree a few details are not practical, but architects had a deep understanding of the space and planned this little box in a very good way.