Humble Homes http://humble-homes.com Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:24:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 A Split-Level Small House in Tokyo for a Young Couplehttp://humble-homes.com/a-split-level-small-house-in-tokyo-for-a-young-couple/ http://humble-homes.com/a-split-level-small-house-in-tokyo-for-a-young-couple/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:32:45 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14393 This small house in Japan has been designed for a young couple (and their dog) by the Japanese architecture studio, Shintaro Matsushita+Takashi Suzuki. The house is set in a dense residential district of Tokyo, and, like all homes placed in such areas, aims to strike a balance between public and private spaces.

SEPA - Small House -S Shintaro Matsushita + Takashi Suzuk - Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

The house contains a total of 958 square feet (89 square meters). Previous to purchasing the site, the owner had been considering another plot composed of two small lots, separated by a steel tower in the middle. The client ended up not purchasing the site, but the architect’s proposed solution made such a strong impression that they decided to recreate it on this plot.

SEPA - Small House -S Shintaro Matsushita + Takashi Suzuk - Japan - Living Room - Humble Homes

The house was completed in 2014. It’s located close to a big park, and the north end of the building overlooks a spacious garden. The architects have managed to squeeze three levels into the space: a first floor that features an open and sheltered garage, an open plan living area on the second storey, and a lofted sleeping space on the final floor.

SEPA - Small House -S Shintaro Matsushita + Takashi Suzuk - Japan - Kitchen - Humble Homes

There is a void running up through the middle of the house, bring light down through the interior and into the parking space below. The livings spaces feature windows that are positioned to provide privacy. They’re mostly limited to the front facade and the central void.

SEPA - Small House -S Shintaro Matsushita + Takashi Suzuk - Japan - LIving Room Window - Humble Homes

The second storey of the house contains the main living area. It’s an open plan space with a small kitchen in one end, and the living room in the other. A small table in the kitchen serves as a dining area. The bathroom is located up a few steps at the back of the home, removing it from the street and creating an extra degree of privacy.

SEPA - Small House -S Shintaro Matsushita + Takashi Suzuk - Japan - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The final level of the house is occupied by the loft, which is mostly taken up by a small sleeping space. By accessing the loft from a separate set of stairs, you’ll reach a rooftop terrace that overlooks the street and beyond. The split levels in this house allowed the architects to allocate space to distinct functions, as well as managing privacy levels.

For more Japanese houses check out this very narrow home that features an interesting interior built to enhance the space. Or this house that features a rather funky interior. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Hiroyuki Hirai

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Re-Toyosaki – A Small Japanese Town House Revamp in Osakahttp://humble-homes.com/re-toyosaki-a-small-japanese-town-house-revamp-in-osaka/ http://humble-homes.com/re-toyosaki-a-small-japanese-town-house-revamp-in-osaka/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:32:34 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14278 Set in the town of Toyosaki in Osaka, this small 355 square foot (33 square meter) town house was recently refurbished by Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects. The house doesn’t have any known construction date, however it was previously renovated back in 1964 (the year of the Tokyo Olympics).

Re-Toyosaki - Small Japanese House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Osaka Japan - Living Room - Humble Homes

The house is located in a downtown district with easy access to public transportation, such as the subway and Umeda station (a transportation hub that serves North Osaka). The current owner bought the house without being able to find out much about its date of construction, or who originally built the home.

Re-Toyosaki - Small Japanese House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Osaka Japan - Hallway - Humble Homes

A considerable amount of internal demolition took place, both to rid the interior of partition walls and to assess the building structurally. The house was also re-insulated to bring it up to the quality of new builds, meeting Japan’s energy saving performance program.

Re-Toyosaki - Small Japanese House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Osaka Japan - Kitchen - Humble Homes

As part of the renovation, all the doors were removed from the living spaces, bar the toilet and bathroom. Instead the spaces are softly divided up with curtains, allowing the owner to adjust the privacy level as required. The first floor contains a domo (entry area), bedroom, and a generously-sized bathroom/washroom. A separate toilet can be found beneath the stairs.

Re-Toyosaki - Small Japanese House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Osaka Japan - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The upper level contains a kitchen and dining area, a workstation, and a living room. By removing the partition walls they were able to make the space feel larger, and also introduce more light. The ceiling has been opened up, revealing the timber beams and providing some character and history to the house.

Re-Toyosaki - Small Japanese House - Coil Kazuteru Matumura Architects - Osaka Japan - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The house is furnished in an eclectic mix of old and new furniture pieces. The same applies to the structure – new beams can be seen among the much older timbers of the house. Rather than looking odd, they complement each other well. The main aim for the architects was to create a home that would “softly surround [the] new couple’s life”.

For more Japanese houses check out Frontier House, a hexagonal home in Toyoake. Or this modern multifunctional house by SNARK. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Yoshiro Masuda

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Haffenden House – A Private Writing Studio/Library in Syracuse, NYhttp://humble-homes.com/haffenden-house-a-private-writing-studiolibrary-in-syracuse-ny/ http://humble-homes.com/haffenden-house-a-private-writing-studiolibrary-in-syracuse-ny/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:38:11 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14300 This small house has been squeezed into a narrow, parking-space sized lot in Syracuse, NY. Created by the architecture studio Para Project, the multi-purpose building has been named Haffenden House. It serves as a writing studio, and has its own library.

Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Exterior - Humble Homes

The front facade of the house is clad in an unusual semi-transparent silicon layer, which, when combined with the light from the windows, creates a space flooded in natural light. The inside of the house is finished in a bright white throughout, adding to the sense of spaciousness in the living areas.

Jonathan Lott Architecture Projects

The project was completed in 2014. The first floor serves as a garage/workspace. The library can be found on the next level up, and comes with its very own bathtub, placed in the middle of the room, in front of a very large window.

Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Library with Bath - Humble Homes

To provide a little modesty, there’s a privacy curtain that can be draped across the window. The walls of the library are stacked from floor to ceiling with books. There’s also a desk, daybed, and a small bathroom tucked away in a corner, with a shower and toilet.

Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Cutain Window - Humble Homes

The final level of the house is occupied by the sleeping quarters. There’s a large “pillow bed” placed in the middle of the room, with a number of skylights and smaller windows providing viewpoints and light. A small storage nook in the corner can be used for items of clothing.

Haffenden House - Small House - Para Project - Syracuse NY - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The house doesn’t appear to contain a kitchen (usually a must-have for most), but I suppose it’s intended to function solely as a writing studio and a private library. It’s a private, and personal retreat placed in the middle of what looks to be a bustling residential area.

Via TreeHugger
Photos: PARA

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A Small Apartment Revamp in Tel Aviv by Maayan Zusmanhttp://humble-homes.com/a-small-apartment-revamp-in-tel-aviv-by-maayan-zusman/ http://humble-homes.com/a-small-apartment-revamp-in-tel-aviv-by-maayan-zusman/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 18:58:04 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14284 The Israeli design studio Maayan Zusman Interior Design have managed to transform what was originally an old run-down apartment, into a modern, luxurious home. Set in Tel Aviv, the apartment is just 592 square feet in size (about 55 square meters).

Apartment in Tel Aviv - Small Apartment - Maayan Zusman Interior Design - Tel Aviv - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The original apartment was in a dilapidated state, and contained a single bedroom and bathroom. The revamped design has allowed Maayan Zusman to introduce two bedrooms, a bathroom and a guest toilet, all with a stunning contemporary finish.

Apartment in Tel Aviv - Small Apartment - Maayan Zusman Interior Design - Tel Aviv - Living Room - Humble Homes

According to the architect, the plan was produced in meticulous detail, where they accounted for each centimeter of space available to them. The result is a living space that features no partition walls, instead items like storage cupboards are used to loosely segregate living areas.

Apartment in Tel Aviv - Small Apartment - Maayan Zusman Interior Design - Tel Aviv - Bedroom and Bathroom - Humble Homes

The largest “partition” used in the home is the bathroom. The bathroom is a glass cube, composed of transparent and black opaque glazing. The bathroom is essentially a wet room that can be closed off on both sides with the use of a privacy curtain. The guest toilet backs onto the main bathrooms toilet, and is contained in a smaller (and much more private) cubicle.

Apartment in Tel Aviv - Small Apartment - Maayan Zusman Interior Design - Tel Aviv - Toilet - Humble Homes

The main living space holds a compact, but functional and stylish kitchen/dining area and living room. A TV hangs from the ceiling, eliminating the need for furniture, and allowing it to be swivelled for viewing in the kitchen or living room.

Apartment in Tel Aviv - Small Apartment - Maayan Zusman Interior Design - Tel Aviv - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Beyond the living room, there’s a small balcony that overlooks a quiet street. To help bring some greenery to the apartment, an orange tree was placed on the balcony, and is visible from anywhere in the main living space. The apartment is a great example of what you can do with a space, with just a little imagination (and style).

For more apartments check out this small Japanese apartment that splits the living space into a series of partitions. Or this apartment in Spain that uses moving partitions to double up on space. See all apartments.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Gidon Levin 181 Architecture Photography

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The Wave House – A Small Home For a Surfer and His Familyhttp://humble-homes.com/the-wave-house-a-small-home-for-a-surfer-and-his-family/ http://humble-homes.com/the-wave-house-a-small-home-for-a-surfer-and-his-family/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 19:03:23 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14292 Designed by APOLLO Architects & Associates, this unusual house melds form and function. The build was completed in 2014 and is now home to a small family in Kanagawa, Japan. The house is set on a lot close to a beach where the father of the family can maintain his hobby, surfing.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Humble Homes

The plot of land was originally purchased by the client due to its proximity to the beach, however the home itself had to serve the needs of the whole family. It features a total of 1,119 square feet (104 square meters) over its two storeys.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The Wave House has a U-shaped plan, with the living areas being built around a central courtyard on the ground floor. The courtyard can be accessed from outside, and provides direct entry to the bathroom, which useful after a day’s surfing and you don’t want to trudge through the house.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Living Room - Humble Homes

The ground floor is also taken up by the entrance hallway, the children’s bedroom, the master bedroom, a separate bathroom, washroom and toilet, and several storage closets. The children’s bedroom flanks the courtyard and features views of the family’s memorial tree, helping to create a relaxed environment for studying.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Courtyard - Humble Homes

The second floor contains the kitchen/dining room and living room. The living room and kitchen are separated by the framing of the courtyard, but feature floor-to-ceiling windows that maintain a connection between the different areas, and help to create an atmosphere of spaciousness.

Wave House - Small House - APOLLO Architects & Associates - Kanagawa - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

Next to the living room there’s a large roof balcony that looks out over the street and beyond. The balcony cantilevers out from the main body of the building and creates a sheltered parking space for two cars at ground level. All in all, I think it’s a really smart, well thought out design with a good balance between (and allocation of) living spaces.

For more small spaces check out The Pod, a modern granny flat in Australia by Takt. Or, Cabin2, a small contemporary retreat by Maddison Architects. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Masao Nishikawa

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The White Cone House – Mirco-Apartments by Apparat-C in Seoulhttp://humble-homes.com/the-white-cone-house-mirco-apartments-by-apparat-c-in-seoul/ http://humble-homes.com/the-white-cone-house-mirco-apartments-by-apparat-c-in-seoul/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 18:39:20 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14307 This block of compact modern apartments can be found in a bustling residential district of Seoul. The building has been designed by local architecture studio, Apparat-C, whose main concern was developing a strategy for balancing natural light intake against privacy.

The White Cone House - Small Apartments - Apparat-C - Seoul - Exterior

The apartment block has been dubbed “The White Cone House”, thanks to the angular penthouse. The building is five storeys tall, and is set on a site that’s flanked on all four sides by adjacent buildings. It features six compact studio apartments, and a two-storey penthouse apartment.

The White Cone House - Small Apartments - Apparat-C - Seoul - Living Room - Humble Homes

According to Apparat-C, providing natural light wasn’t a problem, but balancing openness and privacy was: “In planning the studio units, the key challenge was how to bring enough light into the units and yet maintain privacy.” Their solution was to introduce a recessed balcony that runs along the length of the living spaces.

The White Cone House - Small Apartments - Apparat-C - Seoul - Kitchen - Humble Homes

The recessed balconies have the effect of pulling the windows away from the street front. They can also be partially screened by the residents to provide more privacy, and also block the “more dull views”. Interestingly, the bathroom windows also face the balconies, instead of towards the street. According to Apparat-C, this makes them more functional, as windows facing other residential buildings are often never opened, whereas here they can be opened to a semi-private space.

The White Cone House - Small Apartments - Apparat-C - Seoul - Kitchen 2 - Humble Homes

The first floor serves as a sheltered car park for the residents, and also contains a small office. The second, and third floors are occupied by a series of compact studio apartments. Each of the studio apartments comes equipped with an open plan kitchen, living and dining area. The main living area also has to serve as a bedroom at night, and a small bathroom is set in the corner.

The White Cone House - Small Apartments - Apparat-C - Seoul - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

A single staircase provides access to each of the apartments and is set in the buildings northern end, which receives the least amount of light. The penthouse, which takes up the two uppermost floors, is still a relatively small abode. It features a living room, dining area and kitchen on the first level, followed by a bedroom and bathroom on the top level.

For more apartments check out this other set of small apartments in Seoul by Studio GAON. Or, this modern Parisian flat that contains some space saving features. See all apartments.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Namsun Lee

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The Frontier House is a Hexagonal Home in Toyoakehttp://humble-homes.com/the-frontier-house-is-a-hexagonal-home-in-toyoake/ http://humble-homes.com/the-frontier-house-is-a-hexagonal-home-in-toyoake/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 18:00:31 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14226 Called the Frontier House, this hexagonal home in Toyoake, Japan, is set on the boundary between land earmarked for development and a nature reserve. The house has been designed for a family by the local architecture firm, Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio.

The Frontier House - Small Japanese House - Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio - Toyoake Japan - Exterior - Humble Homes

The house was completed in 2013 and contains a total of 1,087 square feet (101 square meters) set over two floors. As mentioned above, it’s placed on the edge of a strip of land dedicated to urban development, while the front face of the home overlooks a rich rural landscape (a feature which the architects take advantage of).

The Frontier House - Small Japanese House - Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio - Toyoake Japan - Living Area - Humble Homes

The exterior of the house makes it stand out against the much more humdrum residential buildings surrounding it. Its timber siding and hexagonal shape make it the most unusual and interesting home in the street. You’ll also notice, that from the street view, there are very few windows and openings on that face of the house.

The Frontier House - Small Japanese House - Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio - Toyoake Japan - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Instead, the windows have been reserved to capture the views to the front of the Frontier House. The rolling green hills are framed by windows both large and small. The main living area features windows running the length of the double height space.

The Frontier House - Small Japanese House - Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio - Toyoake Japan - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The interior is quite calm and homey. A mix of white walls and ceiling, offset by wood furnishings and floors help to create a relaxing, warm atmosphere. Instead of diving up the living areas into separate rooms, it’s been kept open plan, but varying floor levels are used to define the space.

The Frontier House - Small Japanese House - Mamiya Shinichi Design Studio - Toyoake Japan - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

The ground floor contains the living room, with a kitchen and dining area. There’s also an entrance hall, with storage space for bikes and other items, as well as a separate toilet, wash room and sink. The upper level contains two bedrooms and a storage closet. You can also look down into the living room below from the second floor, or out across the green landscape.

From the architects: “The feel of this interior arrangement allowed the residents to richly experience the transition from urban to rural in the outside scenery from within their own home.”

For more Japanese houses check out this multi-level home by ihrmk. Or, this house in Hiburu that follows the slope of a reservoirs bank. See all Japanese houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Toshiyuki Yano

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The Welcome Shelter in Longbush Ecosanctuary by Sarosh Mullahttp://humble-homes.com/the-welcome-shelter-in-longbush-ecosanctuary-by-sarosh-mulla/ http://humble-homes.com/the-welcome-shelter-in-longbush-ecosanctuary-by-sarosh-mulla/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 20:22:58 +0000 http://humble-homes.com/?p=14233 This series of small structures form part of an environmental educational space for Longbush Ecosanctuary in Gisbourne, New Zealand. The project was undertaken by Sarosh Mulla Design, with the help of 88 volunteers who provided all the required materials to complete the build.

Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter - Sarosh Mulla Design - New Zealand - Exterior - Humble Homes

Dubbed the Welcome Shelter, the educational site has a total area of 1615 square feet (150 square meters), with the buildings themselves occupying much less. Longbush Ecosanctuary is composed of approximately 120 hectares of land, which, over the past 15 years, have been restored thanks to the efforts of Jeremy and Dame Anne Salmond.

Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter - Sarosh Mulla Design - New Zealand - Seating - Humble Homes

Access to the shelter is free, and aims to cater for school children, ecologists and tourists. Each of the timber frame structures has its own separate purpose – storage, ablution facilities, and an office for the on-site ecologist.

Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter - Sarosh Mulla Design - New Zealand - Storage and Ladders - Humble Homes

The three buildings are grouped together under a large steel frame that supports the roof canopy, providing shelter from the sun and rain. The approach reminds me of some modern Japanese houses, which separate living areas into their own little buildings, but then group them together through an overarching roof structure.

Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter - Sarosh Mulla Design - New Zealand - Rooftop Terrace - Humble Homes

Each little cabin is modern in form, and aims to provide views that frame the surrounding landscape, and encourage interaction. A series of small gardens are also at hand to help facilitate the education of children (and adults) on the restoration, and recovery of the environment.

Longbush Ecosanctuary Welcome Shelter - Sarosh Mulla Design - New Zealand - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

The office pod features a large fold-down wall that doubles as an exterior deck area, used for demonstrations. One of the other pods also contains a roof deck. The roof deck can be accessed by a traditionally made greenwood ladder, that’s made from a Manuka tree harvested from the site.

Thanks to the efforts of the Salmond’s, and their volunteers and visitors, Longbush is beginning to thrive again.

For more retreats check out this contemporary getaway in Utrecht by Zecc. Or, the Sol Doc, a 350 square foot cabin that’s raised on stilts. See all retreats.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Simon Devitt, Patrick Reynolds

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