Future of Houses - Houses are Getting Smaller - 4

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Future of Houses - Houses are Getting Smaller - 4

Mini-Home Trends from JapanAccording to the article, “Look East for Mini-Home Innovation: The Japanese Have Long Been Experts in Thinking Small,” Canada could learn a few things from housing models used in Japan (Pemberton, 2005). Pemberton claims that in Tokyo, Japan, the average apartment is apparently only 775 square feet, but living small is not a new trend for this culture. In comparison, many homes in Toronto are currently built around 1700 square feet, such as seen in the plan below:

“The Toronto Two-Storey House Plan”1st floor area: 832 sq. ft./ 2nd floor area: 898 sq. ft.Gross floor area: 1730 sq. ft.Canadian Home Designs(Canadian Home Designs, 2013)

This article discusses the “small house lifestyle,” which includes individuals living with less material goods. This would promote an uncluttered living space. Innovative use of storage space is a very important element to incorporate. Pemberton mentions the Japanese approach of sliding doors (which takes up less space than western doors, and creates a “flow” from room to room). Rather than “traditional” natural materials, Western cultures would most likely take well with glass and metal and concrete in the household. Pemberton even suggests the potential of having skylights for natural lighting throughout the home and a rooftop garden to add an additional, private space to the small, mini-home’s design. Having an orderly, smaller household, with less clutter and consumption of material goods, may potentially offer a more “tranquil” alternative to Canadian housing in the future.

Examples of Japanese Mini-Homes

Below is an example of a creative mini-home design – from Japan – to demonstrate possibilities for a compact, yet efficient home by trimming down its design to its bare essentials:

“Nada House”Nada, Hyogo, JapanArchitects: Shintaro Fujiwara, Yoshio MuroSite area: 387 square feetTotal Floor area: 680 square feet("House in Nada / Fujiwarramuro Architects," 2013).

Sagar Patel

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