If you live in a city, you know how much respite even the smallest bit of outdoor space provides. Be it a yard, front porch, rooftop, or even a fire escape, these little naturey nooks and crannies can be just the escape you need from everyday life, if only for a moment.
The Inoki-Ye House in Osaka, Japan by the Office for Environment Architecture proves cabin-type escapes don’t need to be remote to bestow their healing powers upon inhabitants-they can exist in these modest urban spaces and work their magic, too.
Surrounded by industrial factories and warehouses outside Osaka, the Inoki-Ye House acts as an extension of a residential home. A young family needed more living space and their backyard proved just the spot for an addition. The outdoor space required a narrow plan, however, and the 980-sq-ft home just squeezes in, almost grazing the hedges around the property line.
The designers wanted to maintain as much of the garden as possible given the requirements, and so, kept the house to deck to yard ratio equal, splitting the outdoor space into almost-even thirds.
The house gradually tapers to further accommodate its site, with a living and dining space at its widest point and bedrooms and an office at the most narrow. On the exterior, the deck and roof overhang flows in the opposite direction—just beyond the living space, they act as a covered walkway, outside the bedrooms, they’re a proper porch and an extension of the rooms themselves.
The home revolves around the dining table, a concrete giant that sits divided between inside and out. Spanning from the living area and to floor-to-ceiling shelving, the table serves as a spot to eat, read, chat, and play in all weather.
The interior is functional and playful, with an exposed structure and furniture made of plywood. In the bedrooms, ladders lead up to a lofted area, used for additional sleeping space or extra storage. Throughout the length of the house, windows peek out to the front of the property and large sliding doors lead to the garden.
The corrugated metal clad exterior cleverly conceals the house into its industrial setting. From the outside, you would never know the backyard oasis existed.
Although we love a quiet cabin surrounded by nothing other than forest or mountains, many of us simply don’t have the resources (yet!) to make that our own reality. The Inoki-Ye house successfully blends cabin-life with city-living, creating a unique and peaceful escape amidst urban chaos.