Miraculous ideas

There is a range of designs, which you couldn’t really classify whether it should be considered as good or bad designs.  Under the condition of personal senses, its creativities, utilities, aesthetic or just very practical,  numbers of  factors are the main characteristics to define a good design. There is no precise way to judge any work. In the seminars, we talked about the Dieter Rem’s list. Although it has done years ago, we can still use it as the standard. According to Dieter Rems, being innovative, useful and aesthetic are the main consideration.

Here I found an interesting work from YUUA architects. A very good example of being innovative, aesthetic, translatable and very functional. I would say this is moderately a good design.


Project credit to Madoka Aihara and Toshiyuki Yamazaki.  If you had ever been to Tokyo, you will know the fact of the sizes of the apartments is rarely big. People get so limiting residential space compares to the population numbers. So, it’s normal to have a small size living place, but abnormal to slot a house into a 2.5-metre-wide alley between two existing buildings. People might think they couldn’t make use of that space. Fortunately, there are talented architects who have that ability to turn wasted space into the extraordinary house.

The width of the residence is around 1.8 metres, hence, it’s named: 1.8m Width House. Split-level floors are used to created natural partitions between different spaces. This reduced the need for walls inside the house, helping to make small rooms feel more generous. They considered this technique as “Floating floors in long and narrow space generate the spatial expanse”(Dezeen, 2015). The biggest issue with these kinds of properties is fairly dark and hardly have sunlight comes in, due to the fact that is surrounded by two buildings. Therefore, it’s important to ensure plenty of light can penetrate the interior, which is why  double-height living spaces or high-level windows are very common in their designs.


The house’s facade has floor-to-ceiling windows that let in a maximum of light. “We have tried to reserve as much space as possible as well as to provide psychological openness for the resident. Light and fresh air, which has been taken in from openings in the frontage and upper side of the building, flows into every corner of the house, utilising the floor difference.”(Dezeen, 2015) Both staircases comprise steel treads without supporting risers, which allow light to filter through. Slender handrails run down alongside. This allows more space.Wider space is created by the openness and obtaining the privacy at the same time.  The rooms, bathroom and living area are located at the back of the house for  privacy from curious prying eyes.

The white colour is generally used to offer spacious sense visually. Nevertheless, they chose a dark colour for the internal wall to “give a sense of depth”(Dezeen, 2015) to space, as well as the woody textural floors and ceiling. A very impressive combination of the colour scheme. The architects have successfully brought the natural light deep into the building through a large street-facing glazed facade. So, the dark colour doesn’t make space feels gloomy.

Layout/floor plan of the house


Rosenfield, K. (2012) Dieter Rams 10 Principles of “Good Design”ArchDaily. Available at: http://www.archdaily.com/198583/dieter-rams-10-principles-of-%25e2%2580%259cgood-design%25e2%2580%259d (Accessed: 20 Jan 2016).

Dezeen, M. (2015) Rooms under two metres wide in YUUA’s Tokyo house, Dezeen. Available at: http://www.dezeen.com/2015/08/18/yuua-architects-tokyo-house-japan-skinny-rooms-less-than-two-metres-wide/ (Accessed: 20 Jan 2016).

Toshihiro, S. (2015) narrow 1.8m house by YUUA architects slotted into tokyo neighborhood,designboom | architecture & design magazine. Available at: http://www.designboom.com/architecture/yuua-architects-1-8m-house-tokyo-07-14-2015/ (Accessed: 20 Jan 2016).


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