This afternoon my friend Gabriel, of Gabriel Fain Architects, sent me the work of APOLLO Architects & Associates. They are based in Japan and South Korea. Here is a preview of some of their “private houses”:
There is a lot that I love about these homes.
I love their simplicity. Look at this handrail detail. Nothing more than what is absolutely necessary.
I love their modesty. Many of the above homes hover around 150 square meters and many of them are much much smaller.
I love that each project’s description starts by talking about the owners and the site conditions, signaling that each home represents an individual response tailored to both the occupants and the context.
And I love that many of these homes have been built on unthinkably small parcels of land in dense urban settings; parcels that would be dismissed as entirely useless in other parts of the world.
The site area for this home is 46.53 square meters and the building’s footprint is 36.93 square meters.
Of course the Japanese housing market is a unique place. It’s worth pointing that out.
But as I browsed through what are effectively custom single family homes, I couldn’t help but be reminded that there’s a fine line between need and want.
Small can be very beautiful. But small is also subjective.