Small House: Kazuyo Sejima

Located on a micro-sized plot in downtown Tokyo, Kazuyo Sejma’s Small House defines an order of space which allows its occupants to live together with a sense of freedom. Due to the small nature of the site, each space was carefully tailored to the needs of its occupants resulting in four components. These four slabs are shifted in relation to parameters provided by both the site and client. The shifts of the slabs occur to alter the relationship between interior and exterior, to meet zoning requirements, and to provide parking and a small terrace.

The shifted floors are connected by the staircase which allows the occupants to interact within the small house and encourages sociological behavior. The spiral staircase connects the four levels of the house and provides the core structure. The movement of structure from the exterior of the building to the center allows for a sense of weightlessness in the glass framed rooms. This sense of openness eliminates the feeling of being constricted in such a small lot.

The house consists of three floors and a basement fulfilling the four main functions of the house: a bedroom, a space for a child, living/ kitchen/ dining area, and a terrace with a bath. This leads to a series of extroverted spaces above ground as the ground floor opens up to the garden, the second floor opens up to the terrace, and the top floor opens up to the sky. Unlike most American homes forging a sense of freedom, this small city dwelling in Tokyo truly liberates its occupants through a series of connected spaces carefully organized to feed existential human desires.

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