Like modern clouds, a series of cantilevered (and white-painted) few-feet-wide levels makes this home on a narrow site feel wide open despite the solid and windowless party walls along its length.

The lot itself is only 10 feet wide, but manages to feel spacious between various intelligent color choices, design strategies and ample glazing in front, back and via skylights. For all its dynamism and creativity, the restrictions on this structure actually provided much of the basis for the evolution of its design.

Using a split-level strategy, open-tread stairs with wire-frame metal (if any) railings take residents from one half-floor to the next.

White is used strategically to reflect light and make the spaces feel bright – except along one side, where the use of black reinforces the feeling that the central platforms are indeed half-floating rather than suspended between two structural sides.

While the black-and-white scheme, rectilinear components and contemporary fixtures make this whole home feel extremely modern, the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling windows along the facade still frame a connection to the more traditional homes in the neighborhood.

Due to building code regulations and lack of space, Japanese architects like?Shintaro Fujiwara are increasingly becoming the masters of small-space design on skinny sites.

Now, if only some of these thin-lot specialists would come to the United States they would likely be quite successful in places like Manhattan at least.