Long Tall House

Located in Tokyo, Japan, the Long Tall House is designed by the Japanese architecture firm SPACESPACE. The home is sandwiched between two traditional residential buildings in a busy neighborhood. This home acts as a clean white escape from the chaos of the big city.

As the name suggests, the house is long and tall. Five stories span across the 4 x 16 meter site. The home is partially built into a retaining wall, creating the condition for two floors of basement. The basement levels are made from concrete, while the upper levels are clad in white timber. The north and south facades are covered with aluminum panels that can be raised or lowered to shade the street-adjacent windows. The interior is elegant and functional. A narrow spiral staircase provides the circulation between floors. White walls and hardwood floors provide a lightness and livability to the space. All of the storage is hidden within or behind the walls.

This house truly illustrates how to make the most out of tight spaces. The architects took an unusually shaped lot and turned it into a wonderful family residence. This house is both simple and complicated: simple because of the calming materials and clean functionality, and complicated because of the unique solutions to a restrictive space. This home is a design oasis I would love to return to each day.