6 Tsubo House, Tokyo

The 6 Tsubo House, located in the bustling district of Yotsuya in Shinjuku, Tokyo, is an exceptional dwelling that showcases how creative design can make even the smallest living spaces feel comfortable and spacious. Designed by Arte-1 Architects, the narrow three-story house, measuring just 56 square meters, was built for the client, a young family of four who desired a small yet open house with a connection to the outdoors.

To maximize the limited space, Arte-1 staggered the rooms on the upper levels, allowing a 5m high ceiling in the living area and extra storage space in the stairway and beneath the kitchen. The designer avoided partitioning spaces by creating separation through the use of color and materials, giving each area a unique ambiance. The house features an atrium that extends up to the third floor, creating a café-like space that includes the living and dining rooms. This is accessed via a staircase.

The kitchen is elevated to separate it from the living room, and professional-grade appliances, including a powerful oven by Viking, a gas cooktop, and a commercial range hood, were installed to cater to the client’s love for cooking. The stainless steel finishing makes for easy cleaning, and the space below the kitchen provides additional storage.

A staircase leads to the bedrooms, with a niche for books made using the dead space in the stairs. The children’s room, also used as a playroom, features skylights and bright colors, while the master bedroom, designed to promote sleep, has built-in storage along the side of the wall.

The staircase continues to a rooftop balcony, which boasts ample space for relaxing and entertaining, with wall panels that can be removed to create a bench seat or table.

Despite the size limitations, Arte-1 Architects created a functional and comfortable home for the family, with priority given to simple things like room for children to play and a cozy living and dining area. The house is a testament to how innovative design can make the most out of even the smallest of spaces, offering both comfort and style.

Images by NeverTooSmall