Measuring just 280 square feet, this tiny house in Tokyo by architecture firm Flathouse includes a public biscuit shop on the first level and manages to fit a lot of function into an irregularly shaped footprint by taking advantage of vertical space. Built on a system of parallelograms that create a herringbone pattern both inside and out, the home has no interior walls, dividing the rooms with a series of staggered platforms instead.
For privacy-obsessed Westerners, this may seem like a strange move, but interior walls aren’t seen as a necessary part of a home in many areas of Japan. In this case, eliminating these dividers keeps a small space open and encourages rapid movement from one area of the home to the next. The shop owner can quickly move from the personal areas of the home to serve a customer on the first floor, and back again.
All levels are connected by a central staircase. The dining room, living area and private rooms are all set on small platforms with barely enough room for the furniture required in each. The shop and bathroom are tucked into a concrete basement level, while the rest of the home is lined in a light and airy larch plywood.
This approach uses the full available height of the property, creating a comfortable space despite the restrictive dimensions of the plot, a common architectural challenge in Tokyo.