House K by Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects

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In a city as crowded as metropolitan Tokyo, real estate is precious and difficult building sites often plague Japan’s architects. House K, a project from Hiroyuki Shinozaki Architects, successfully demonstrates that a building’s delegated footprint is not a limiting factor, but instead a liberating one. With a maximum width of a mere seven feet, House K extends a vertical 30 feet toward the sky in order to accommodate the living space for two families. A door and hallway is sandwiched between two asymmetrical, white towers and acts as the main corridor that branches to larger rooms. Upper and lower frames eliminate the need for doors and make the most out of the narrow space, differentiate one room from the next as if an invisible shoji screen announces each entrance. The wooden floor and matching furnishings on the entry-level evoke the image of a traditional Japanese home, though modern colors liven the palette on the floors above. In a corner of the house, a modern spiral staircase, another trick to save space, provides access to the three levels of the house. A controlled smattering of well-placed windows of varying sizes allows light to penetrate the building, and the natural illumination bounces off the white walls to further create the illusion of spacious interiors.

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Kimberly

Kimberly

Kimberly is a graduate from MIT's Department of Architecture, and has recently joined the publication team at MIT OpenCourseWare. While architecture remains her first love, her interests encompass literature – epic poetry and Medieval romances are her favorite – and also fashion.

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