Japanese Minimalism – The Mountain House
The Japanese people have always fascinated us with their vivid imagination and perseverance to find solutions to any sort of problem. We have previously seen how tiny Japanese homes crawl into any available space and how these minimalist spaces turn into comfortable living places right at the heart of crowded cities. Today we are refreshing your memory with a new example – the mountain house – a sloping side house making its way on a very small plot of land. The space, unconceivable to others as a place to raise a house on, didn’t discourage Japanese architects Hiroshi and Tomoko Sekiguchi who only saw a big challenge in it.
What came out can be seen below: a house with a garage on the ground floor, in a residential area of the Japanese city of Hyogo. On their website, the two architects explain how they dealt with the small space and the ensuing solutions. The two requirements from the client were to have enough space to park a large four-wheel drive car and not to be bothered by neighbor’s gaze while relaxing in the house, since the mountain home is, as can be seen in the images, crammed between other houses and a parking lot on the side.
In order to fit the large four-wheel drive car in the small site of only 27 square meters, the plan was to utilize legal maximum floor space, which lead to build the walls as close to the neighbors as possible. The inclined walls are to ease the eyes of an oppressive closely built house. The upper floor sits right on top of the garage and can be accessed via an external stair which, from the outside, seems to be the sole connection of the strange looking house with the external world.
The roof and walls are the same material to create a one mass volume like a mountain. To fulfill the clients’ request to have a private relaxing house, the main window was made on the roof. Since the roof was made small by the house’s shape, it allowed the roof to mostly be window, which allowed plenty of comfortable sunlight.