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Secrets of a Super Cheap Family Home

Luke Riley Luke Riley
Rustic style houses by 氏原求建築設計工房 Rustic
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The project we bring you today is quite an unusual one. We all know that Japan is home to the weird and wonderful and you'll soon learn that the same goes when it comes to houses.

In this Ideabook you'll see the amazing work from a Japanese architect, Ujihara Motomu, who received a peculiar proposal from a client. Their client had outlined a desire for a freestanding home design, built to the best possible standards and within a tight budget. What was meant by tight budget was not your ordinary amount. 

Scroll down to find out how much he was willing to spend and how the experts managed to deliver what was desired…

A two-level beauty

We can see here that the architects and builders fulfilled the wishes of their client, having built a beautiful timber house. The two level home rises from a strong concrete base as a structure of dark stained timber and transparent glass. 

To the amazement of many (us included) this house was built for only a third of the cost of a conventional build. It doesn't seem possible that it could be built so cheaply since the house looks like any other in the neighbourhood. 

How was it all made possible? 

Boasting smart materials

The answer to the question comes down to the ingenuity of the architect. The form of the house was designed in a certain way so that savings could be made throughout the building process. Critical savings were made by choosing materials that were purely functional and by removing design features that were not completely necessary.      

For example, the timber used for the exterior is a specific type manufactured to offer strong resistance to weather and is designed to last. This type of timber is considerably cheaper than most and is often used for commercial builds. In any case, we can see that with the right finish, this timber looks the part in its context. 

Stripped-back interiors

You may be thinking that we are showing you a picture of the house during the later stages of the construction phase, however, this is in fact the finished product. 

Stripped-back is a term used frequently in interior design circles and it seems extremely applicable when describing this home's interior. Though we doubt most interior designers or homeowners would be aiming for this when planning a stripped-back look. 

The décor relies solely on the appearance of the materials used in the building's frame. There are no decorative features added into the scheme, such as carpets and wallpaper. There is also no sign of furniture or artwork. 

Raw timber

It's safe to say that the interiors won't be to the taste of most but it really is exactly what the client wanted. He has fully embraced the rawness of his home's interiors where timber and painted ply-board are the only materials present besides the occasional glimpse of a screw or metal joinery. 

The owner might aim to slowly decorate his home over time or perhaps he'll leave the interiors exactly as they are.

Fully functional spaces

Don't let the look of the interiors fool you, this is a fully functioning home with all the things needed for a modern lifestyle.

On the ground floor there is a small kitchen, which forms the broader social zone and will be filled with furniture and other pieces as time passes. This social zone is also naturally attached to the outdoor decking, which is connected by sliding glass doors. 

Affordable future

The footprint of the home may be modest but its proportions are more than generous. The sense of space is enhanced thanks to the prominence of the timber and the way the incoming natural light brightens every nook and cranny. 

All in all, this type of home might not be desirable for everyone but we can see that it could be an option for people with limited budgets. This is especially relevant as the demand for affordable housing is ever increasing. Perhaps we might see something like this here in the UK and possibly even featured here on homify!

For another interesting project from Japan, don't miss: The Quirky Cubic Home.

Can you imagine Brits living in houses like this?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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