Be-Fun Design builds a row of four super-skinny houses in Japan

Be-Fun Design builds a row of four super-skinny houses in Japan

In keeping with the growing trend for skinny houses, Japanese studio Be-Fun Design has completed a terrace of four narrow residences on a plot of just 60 square metres.

Spiral House by Be-fun

Named Spiral, the row of four terraced homes was designed by Be-Fun Design for a site in Matsuyama – a city built around a 15th-century castle in Ehime Prefecture.

Spiral House by Be-fun

Rather than designing an apartment building with one or two homes per floor, the architects decided to create a block where each resident has their own ground-floor entrance and four levels of accommodation.

Spiral House by Be-fun

This resulted in a row of super-skinny homes that are only just wide enough to accommodate the spiral staircase connecting each of their floors.

Spiral House by Be-fun

The entrances comprise a series of industrial-looking doors that slide right across the facade of every residence. There are no internal partitions, so opening these doors exposes the ground-floor interiors to the street.

Spiral House by Be-fun

"When you open the entrance door you can see the spiral steps," said the design team, explaining how these staircases rising up behind the facade inspired its name.

Spiral House by Be-fun

To maximise space and avoid making residents feel cramped, there is only one room per floor. Indoor curtains allow any floor to be screened from the staircase, offering some privacy for homes with more than one occupant.

Spiral House by Be-fun

Dining rooms occupy the ground-floor space, featuring a small kitchenette along the rear wall, while the next floor up is a mezzanine that functions as a sleeping deck.

Spiral House by Be-fun

The second floor houses a bathroom, with a bath and WC that can be separated from each other with an extra curtain. A living room is located on the uppermost floor.

Spiral House by Be-fun

Be-Fun Design, whose past projects include a showroom with a curving chasm in the facade, used a simple clean material palette to help each residence feel airy.

Spiral House by Be-fun

"Solid pine flooring looks very sharp with the white space. It makes the space dynamic but also creates a calm atmosphere simultaneously," said the team.

Spiral House by Be-fun

Externally the building is glazed on its front and rear walls, and the side walls are rendered white. "This four-layer building looks like a reinforced concrete building, but it is actually made of wood," added the designers.

Spiral House by Be-fun

Photography is by Hiroyuki Hirai.


Project credits:

Architects: Tsuyoshi Shindo/Be-Fun Design
Structure: B-cube
Construction: Architect Eishin Co. Ltd

Spiral House by Be-fun
3D diagram – click for larger image
Spiral House by Be-fun
3D section – click for larger image
Spiral House by Be-fun
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Spiral House by Be-fun
First floor plan – click for larger image
Spiral House by Be-fun
Second floor plan – click for larger image
Spiral House by Be-fun
Third floor plan – click for larger image