This house had to be built on an extremely
limited land of 4 x 11.5 meters, for a family of four (a couple with two children).
Although the land is 4 meters wide, only 3 meters could be used for the house due to regulations. As an architect, I wanted to at least secure the view to the outside world to supplement the narrowness, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible. The adjacent lands are all packed by other houses. The north side is facing the 4 meters wide street, but there stands 7 stories condo with every balcony facing towards this land. The only spacious view that is available is the sky. Also, due to the tight budget, floor space had to be limited. Nevertheless, the requirement was to build a master bedroom and two other bedrooms plus an office space.
The approach was to build up a house as much as the regulation allowed, and then divided the inside into three territories, the middle being an inner courtyard. The courtyard not only secured the spacious view to the outside, but it also let the sunshine in, and allowed the air to circulate, as well as to limit the floor space. On both sides of the courtyard, I built wooden walls with open entrances instead of the doors. These wooden walls created small rooms for bedrooms and spaces for storing plumbing. I refer these small wooden wall surrounded place as “wooden boxes”. These wooden boxes served as “land” while the other open spaces, including the courtyard, served as “ocean”, which together helped make the house look much bigger than its actual size.