Apollo Architects has recently built a skinny house clad in black steel on a tiny plot of land in Tokyo, Japan. Measuring just 1.4-meters-wide on its smallest side, with a total floor area of 80.58-square-meters, the Jewel house was designed for a couple with one child.
Apollo has designed the façade of the building at the end of the stepped approach to symbolize the impression of a narrow alleyway, using black galvalume steel sheets to clad the exterior. Once you step inside, a white space opens up that inverts the exterior appearance, with the symbolic steel stairwell functioning as an invitation to the upper floor. A skylight is installed at the top of the stairs, illuminating the first floor with a soft natural light.
The first floor features a compact bathroom in addition to private spaces such as a master bedroom and a child’s room. On the second floor, the provision of public space not only in the form of a living-dining-kitchen but a compact courtyard, as well, bring in daylight and elicits a sense of openness.
The cumulative effect of devices including the use of ceramic floor and wall tiles both inside and outside to create a sense of flow and hiding the steel sash frame creates a muted and minimal space. The ceiling features a minimal lighting design based on the maximal use of indirect lighting, so that the space takes on a jewel-like luminance.