At the start of the year, a timber house was built on a vacant piece of land next to an existing residence – which just so happened to be inhabited by the client’s parents – in a city on the southern coast of Japan. Requesting a building that is considerate to the neighbours was the least that could be done and architect Yoshiyasu Mizuno knew exactly how to get the most out of the confined site.

With a footprint of just over 7 x 7 m, the square plan is modest at best. From the street, the tall structure seems a little out of place. From the reverse, the extruded volume is pitched at a diagonal angle and chamfered towards the back corner of the property to create a significantly sloped steel roof. This lowers the building’s visual silhouette to that of a single storey, which disguises the full scale of the house.

The interior programme is compact – or ‘high density’, as Mizuno describes – but feels more spacious than it lets on, due to the limitation of partition walls and the addition of a light-well which allows ample natural daylight to reach all corners of the house. It remains to be seen how much space is left over once the furniture is moved in.

Diagram – Sloped Roof

Plans – Ground/First/Second Floor