Compact Living:: House in Horinouchi by MIZUISHI Architect Atelier

House in Horinouchi (or River Side House) is a two-storey compact dwelling for the family of three. The house is situated in west Tokyo on a tiny plot where the road and the river cross and form an acute angle. It was designed by a Japanese architectural practice MIZUISHI Architect Atelier, and it is typical kyosho jutaku.

Kyosho JutakuKyosho jutaku is a Japanese variant of an ultra-compact home. In Japan, such house-building is a long-term trend – since 1990s, the popularity of these houses has been increasing along with realty prices and economic recession. Usually, kyosho jutaku occupy inconvenient and unused plots that can be slightly larger than a typical parking spot.

Just the characteristics and restrictions of the plot formed the basis of the future design. The house has a triangular layout with cut acute angles and occupies almost all the area of the plot. Moreover, it has the maximum volume of the hip roof that was also restricted by a setback line.

The resulting building has two stories and a loft, with a total area of 55.24 sqm. On the ground floor, there is a hall with a stair and a storage, a bathroom, and a bedroom divided from other areas with a curtain. The first floor is a single space divided into several areas: a dining room with a kitchen, a low-ceilinged living room, and a spare room. The space above the living room is occupied by the loft that provide views of both sky and the river.

This article is a part of the ‘Compact Living’ series. You can read about other designs of compact houses and apartments on this page.


Location: Suginami, Tokyo, Japan
Type: residential house
Architect: Kota Mizuishi / Mizuishi Architect Atelier
Structural engineer: Kentaro Nagasaka
Lighting designer: Tatsuoki Nakajima
Contractor: Hirano-kensetu
Photographer: Hiroshi Tanigawa
Site area: 52.14m2
Building area: 29.07 m2
Total floor area: 55.24 m2
Structure: wood
Story: 2
Design period: March, 2010 – November, 2010
Construction period: December, 2010 – May, 2011


Roof: galvanized steel sheet
Exterior wall: siding board (level+1) , galvanized steel sheet (level+1)
Window: aluminum sash , steel sash
Floor: birch solid flooring
Wall: plaster board , acrylic emulsion paint
Ceiling: plaster board , acrylic emulsion paint
Furniture: japanese linden plywood


Lighting: Panasonic, DAIKO, ENDO, Yamagiwa
Kitchen products: Toyo Kitchen & Living
Bathroom products : T-form

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