Y-House by IDEA Office
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The Los Angeles-based IDEA Office designed the Y-House, a home for a young family in a suburb of Tokyo, Japan. The clients wished for a house with privacy from closely packed neighbors while keeping it open and light-filled, in addition to as much outdoor space as possible. With three sides of the house surrounded by two-story structures in close proximity, this was a tough challenge.

The black metal facade sits close to the street to take advantage of the lot’s size. An outdoor space was made by building a ground floor garden and a second-story terrace and then enclosing it behind a two-story structure to create privacy. There is a large cutout in the facade to allow light into the living areas and terrace. The house spans three floors that are connected by a central staircase. The bottom floor consists of a carport, garden, and utility space, the second floor holds the living spaces and the third floor houses the bedrooms.

IDEA was able to create a smartly designed house based on exactly what the family needed and maximized every square inch of the lot they had to work with, all while maintaining the privacy that the family asked for. They were also able to incorporate several sustainable features including skylights for ventilation, insulated metal panels, and a reflective white roof.

Photos by Kouichi Torimura and IDEA.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.