Tokyo Reinvents the Small Space

Friday, April 4, 2008




A few weeks ago, while randomly flipping through channels, I came across a program on the National Geographic Channel called "Tokyo: Living Small in the Big City". As an aspiring NGS photographer I'm always a little giddy to see what programs the channel and the website features. This program in particular was so amazing to watch because it showed how architects in Tokyo essentially reinvent the way homes are built in order to accomodate densely populated spaces. Tokyo could probably fit into NYC, but the millions of people living in Tokyo far surpasses the number living in NYC. Homes double as utility spaces with everything having the ability to retract or condense itself. Very cool and very clever.

Many of the Japanese architects catered to families that could afford a custom-built home, but my personal favorite was a design company called
Eddi's House that built homes more so for those on the mid-lower income scale. What's so lovely about these homes is that they're created with the idea of opening the space by using high ceilings, tons of windows, and (my favorite part) incorporating nature. It's like an inverted house using plants that reach from the base of the house to the top floor. The images posted above are from the Eddi's House website, and not only are they stunning but they're so inspiring. I'm so used to seeing homes in America and Europe with a particular look and construction, but many homes in Tokyo are shaped like everything from a globe to a penguin. Yes, there is a home called "The Penguin House' and it looks as cute as it sounds :)

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