Designed by Nori Architects for a young family with children, Minimum House located on a narrow plot in Toyota, Japan, introduces a new prototype of urban housing on a limited budget.
Located on a long and narrow site east to west, there is heavy traffic on the west side of the road, buildings closely adjacent on the north and south sides with a wide opening to the sky in the southeast on the second floor. The structure is divided into three levels. A large window on the southeast wall of the living room connects to the urban void.
The covered terrace along the street side of the dining room and kitchen has a mesh front and translucent walls on the sides to allow full access to the changing light and wind while maintaining a moderate sense of distance from the city. To ensure year-round comfort and energy efficiency, the exterior skin and mechanical equipment were designed for comfort and energy efficiency. Within a limited budget, architects devised ways to ensure high performance with a combination of thoroughly reduced materials and low-priced equipment.
Nori Architects created a warm wood-filled space by eliminating interior finishes by using exterior insulation and exposing the wood structure, base, piping, and wiring. This allows the residents to understand the structure of the building and to make repairs and modifications on their own. This is a proposal for a new prototype of urban housing in an age of global environmental crisis, by providing a delightful house open to the inside (family) and outside (city), full of light, wind, and natural materials, with less construction material and waste.