How would you like it if someone took the tiny amount of free space between your home and the neighbors’ and crammed an absurdly-shaped structure into it, filling virtually every square inch? That might seem rude in many places, but in Japan, where residential plots are tiny and houses are built to the very edges to maximize the space, it’s not unusual to see neighborhoods where nobody really has a ‘yard’ at all. In this case, Kyoto-based architecture firm Alphaville came up with a very creative solution to an awkwardly shaped plot of land between existing homes.
The zig-zagging ‘House Twisted’ features a narrow design that snakes between several traditional homes. You might think this would result in everybody staring awkwardly into each others’ windows, but the home was designed to place windows and doors only in spaces where they wouldn’t look directly onto neighboring residences.
Three openings at the porch, kitchen and courtyard are oriented to face the interior at 45 degree angles to let in light without sacrificing privacy. Skylights flood the all-white interior with daylight. As narrow as the home appears from the outside, the interior has a surprisingly spacious feel thanks to a minimalist approach and high ceilings.
The three main staggered shapes that make up the house leave just enough room for two outdoor spaces facing the windowless walls of the neighboring houses, resulting in a feeling of privacy and sanctuary despite the cramped conditions.