LOVE2 HOUSE, Achieving Rich Living in Small Houses


WordsEmi Uemoto PhotographyTadashi Okochi

'LOVE2 HOUSE' stands on a narrow site with a frontage of about 2.5 m. The road in front is a private road with bold openings. As a matter of fact, you can sometimes see a curious child approach the road to check it out. The roof has a gentle, curved surface.

‘Six tsubo (approximately 20 square metres) is a little too big for two people to live in.’ When his wife, Megumi Hosaka, said this, it surprised the architect, Takeshi Hosaka. My home where I lived at that time was the two-storey LOVE HOUSE designed in 2005, measuring about 38 square metres. After living in Tokyo for 10 years and relocating his office to Tokyo, Hosaka planned his second home, LOVE2 HOUSE.
The site, measuring about 30 square metres and situated on the middle of a slope, is a place where you can feel the remnants of a tenement house. At first, Hosaka was considering a two-storey building, but Megumi learned from a book that a tenement house in the Edo period was a nine-shaku-two-aida room (about 9.6 square metres) with a family of four living there, and she informed Takeshi of this fact.

The height of the atrium is about 7 m at the highest point, and the light coming from the top light creates various shadows in the room. The space in the studio is gently separated by wing walls and steps. Behind the wall on the right is the entrance, where shelves are set up to hold 300 records.

The plan for the remodeled one-storey house is a studio with a dining area, a kitchen and a bedroom. The total floor area is 18.84 square metres. The bath is—get this—located on the terrace. Megumi, who used to be a shower-person, laughed, saying ‘I now know the comfort of an open-air bath, and I use it every day.’
Even more surprising, there are as many as 300 records in my home. ‘Although it’s small, it’s not an empty, minimalistic house. We wanted to create a space containing a variety of “things”’, says Takeshi.
While the small house wasn’t completely worry-free, Megumi said, ‘when I woke up the morning after we moved, I was captivated by the movement of the clouds seen from the top light.’ The top light not only made the space feel wider, but also taught Takeshi that there is nature to be found in the city. ‘LOVE2 HOUSE’ is a small house that shows that there is a certain richness to be had that cannot be estimated in terms of area.

A concrete bathtub is installed on the terrace. Since it is visible from the adjacent apartment, it is usually used with tarp. ‘It looks like a room with an open-air bath’, says Megumi. In the room there is also a shower booth next to the terrace.

The kitchen is raised by one step, so the light from the top light creates a stage-like look. Megumi's favorite place is the kitchen. For Takeshi, it’s the dining corner.

The small edge that is provided on the surface of the wing wall serves as a small accessory storage and display space.

Suitable for: families/a married couple / Completion year: 2019 / Total floor area: 8.84㎡ / Site area: 31.43㎡ / Design: Takeshi Hosaka Architectural Design Office