This Tiny Concrete Home in Tokyo Feels a Lot Bigger Than It Is

As the world’s most populous cities struggle with a housing shortage, more and more architects are getting creative with buildings that maximize space on small pieces of land.

This holds true for R torso C house, an award-winning, cleverly designed home from Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier TEKUTO. The private residence, which sits on a corner plot in Tokyo that is just 66 square meters (or 216 square feet), makes use of an angular shape and high ceilings to create the illusion of a spacious home inside and out. With a very small 337 square feet of floor space, Atelier TEKUTO packed as much as they could into this “micro-house”.

Architect Yasuhiro Yamashita is no stranger to tiny houses; the firm specializes in creating structures that take advantage of every last inch of available space. But he had to get really creative with R torso C. The couple wanted a home that had the traditional spaces like a living room, dining room, and “Japanese room,” but they also needed a gallery space and an insulated audio visual space — all while remaining environmentally friendly.

The final layout is four floors of glass and concrete that reaches into the sky. The main level holds the gallery and Japanese room, which features a tatami mat floor. The second floor holds the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. In the small living room, the ceiling is double the usual height to create a sense of openness in a tight space. A large triangular window lets light flood the room, making it feel bright and airy. The top level houses the couple’s bedroom, and the audio visual room was tucked into the basement, which helped aid in the sound-proofing.

The home was designed as one continuous vertical volume. This, combined with open tread staircases, allows maximum light to reach all corners of the home, including the basement level.

To create a concrete home that felt open, the team developed a 100-percent recyclable concrete made from shirasu instead of sand. Shirasu is a special volcanic ash deposit created from pyroclastic flow and is found all over southern Japan. Special micro closed-cells give the shirasu a unique property: it creates concrete that can control humidity and deodorize the air, both of which are important features in humid, crowded Tokyo.

Living

Peek Inside NoDa House, a Reimagining of Traditional Mill Houses with a Modern Twist

NoDa House has all of the mid-century modern goodness we love about Eichlers but with a modern twist.
Food & Drink

7 Best Tequila Bars in Mexico City

Jaime Salas, the national brand ambassador for Milagro, takes us on a tequila-drinking journey via the best bars in CDMX.
Living

5 Seriously Stylish Dog Houses to Pamper Your Puppers

There will be no question about who’s a good boy when you get Fido one of these amazing dog houses.
Culture

10 Best Gifts For Book Lovers: Get Lit This Holiday Season

Even if you have no idea who their favorite author is or whether they’ve already read ___ book, these gifts feel personal because a book lover is emotionally connected to the act of reading.
Living

Write This Down: These Are the Best Notebooks for Putting Pen to Paper

For those of us who still prefer to write, having the perfect pen and paper is tantamount to having a calibrated race car or a finely tuned guitar.
Food & Drink

Nanopresso is the Go-Anywhere Personal Espresso Machine You Need Now

If you've got hot water, coffee, and a Nanopresso, you can make espresso anywhere.
Living

Goto House Is the Hexagonal Home of Your Dreams

When your client is a skilled engineer, you know you have to come up with an architectural jewel of a home.
Living

Find Perfect Harmony Between Architecture and Nature at Amangiri Resort

This secluded desert getaway is helping to reshape the idea of what Southwestern style can be.
Living

How to Clean Your House or Apartment in 30 Minutes or Less

This isn’t a deep clean. It’s an, “Oh shit, I really should have done something earlier and now it’s gonna take a miracle to do this” clean.
Living

Baby on the Way? Here’s How to Support Your Pregnant Wife

Pregnancy requires you to get proactive, pal. She’s driving the car, but you are the entire pit crew.
Living

Dive In (Literally) to This Minimalist Lakeside Retreat in the Netherlands

Once the walls open up, you can dive right into the water from the living room.
Living

An Old Garage Is Transformed Into an Artist’s Home and Studio in San Francisco

Yes, that's a red Fiat hanging from the ceiling.
Living

From Milan to Mars, Architect Stefano Boeri is Creating Vertical Forests

A combination of housing shortages and climate change led to the creation of Vertical Forests which blend housing and landscaping into one amazing building.
Living

What’s a Salt Cave and Why Are They So Damned Relaxing?

Experiencing Halotherapy in a salt cave can be pure relaxation or relaxing purification depending on how you look at it.