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Tsubomi House by Flat House, Tokyo


Japanese studio Flat House has designed this tiny home and shop in Tokyo, Japan. The footprint of this house, including the biscuit shop that is part of the house, is only 26sqm. The entire house is divided into seven split levels without partitions and all levels are connected by a staircase situated in the middle of the house. From the shop on the ground floor, this metal staircase connects the kitchen and the dining on 1.5 level, then the living space on 2 level, and finally the sleeping area on the top floor that is shared by all family members. A second set of concrete steps continue from the ground floor to the basement, housing the shop and its bathroom.


Every split level is small — there is barely enough space to place essential furniture, but each space feels sufficient and roomy. This is because all spaces are divided and isolated by different levels but connect one space from another. This gives a feel that each resident lives in multiple small spaces yet one large space simultaneously.


Almost all interior surfaces are made of larch plywood. Each panel is cut into parallelogram and laid out in herringbone pattern. This pattern is repeated on the ivory facade made of galvanized steel sheets and consistently applied to the exterior as well as the interior, evoking more three-dimensional experience.


Today, people communicate, get information and watch television by mobile phone or smart phone in a public space, like inside train. Each family member already has his/her private media even without his/her own private room. So, no one feels the inconvenience.


With every space being so small and further without walls, can be advantageous – residents can move quickly from one space to another. This constant movement can be compared to “mutters of Twitter” where short messages are sent out through the internet. Each space is very small but every action in these small spaces is unique. And the various actions connect one another. Sometimes, the wife stands talking with a customer in the biscuit shop on the first level, then drinks a cup of tea at the dining space on the 1.5 level, then moves up to the second level and watch TV, all in a very small time frame.

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all images © TAKUMI OTA | H/t ignant