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A striking black mountain-shaped volume rises from a residential street in Hyogo, Japan, taking maximum advantage of a tiny plot that also needed to house a large four-wheel-drive vehicle. Reserving the ground level as a garage, the home feels incredibly solid yet seems to hover at the same time. Stairs offer access to the glass front door and the spare, utilitarian interior.

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Nearly the entire roof is taken up by a pair of skylights, which fill the home with daylight despite its heavy, dark appearance from outside. This setup also ensures that the house’s windows aren’t looking directly into those of the neighboring buildings.

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Plywood lines the walls and ceiling, and create built-in shelving for storage. The house and roof were made of the same material, as well, keeping costs very low. While a home this small and minimalist can’t offer much in the way of luxury, many Japanese home seekers find similar compact single-family structures to be an affordable compromise between apartment living and owning a stand-alone home.