This boxy house in Kyoto by Yoshihiro Yamamoto Architects Atelier (YYAA) has a narrow body intended to recreate the proportions of Japanese government-built apartments of the 1950s, 60s and 70s (+ slideshow).
Japanese architect Yoshihiro Yamamoto designed the house for a mother and grown-up son that had previously lived in one of the narrow apartments of one of Japan's many Danchi complexes. These large housing developments are often referred to as slums, but are also known for fostering close communities.
"When the clients consulted us to build their new residence, they requested a too-narrow house, although the site is large enough," said Yamamoto. "Danchi was the most precious lifestyle for them. So we designed a minimal house like in a Danchi."
Named Danchi Hutch, the two-storey house accommodates a garage at a ground level, while the second floor contains two traditional Japanese rooms with a kitchen and dining room between and bathrooms on one side.
Sliding partitions allow the rooms to open out to one another, creating a large open-plan space when required.
A timber structure is left exposed inside the house. Walls, floors and ceilings are lined with timber boards, although the Japanese rooms also have tatami mats across the floors.
Danchi Hutch is the fourth Japanese house featured on Dezeen this month, following a cantilevered residence with a tree inside and a house with a facade designed to look like a picture frame. See more Japanese houses on Dezeen »
Photography is by Yohei Sasakura.
Here's a few extra details from Yoshihiro Yamamoto:
This small house is designed for a craftsman and his mother. They had lived in a Danchi for a long time. Danchi is notorious Japanese housing complex. Since it is too narrow, it is often called "the rabbit hutch." When the clients consulted us to build their new residence, they requested a too-narrow house, although the site is large enough. As a matter of fact, Danchi was most the precious lifestyle for them. So we designed a minimal house like in a Danchi, which has only three small rooms and a garage.
Project name: Danchi Hutch
Architect: Yoshihiro Yamamoto | YYAA
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Construction: June - Dec 2012
Structure: wooden structure
Site Area: 109 sqm
Building Area: 80 sqm
Floor Area: 80 m2 (1F 40sqm, 2F 40sqm)