Efficient use of space

Thin buildings

Tokyo, a metropolitan area with something over 30 million people living within a 60km radius from its center, is obviously crowded. Space here is definitely a premium commodity.

There are many places where careful observation reveals some pretty creative use of space. There are some extremely thin buildings, too. That being said, this one is really quite amazing.

Located near Ikebukuro, the building here is only slightly more than two meters wide. But not 2 meters - a little over 6 feet - but 2 power meters, probably around 60 cm, or a little over 2 feet wide! The restaurant was closed, but I don't think I want a table on this end... It certainly is not a good space for the claustrophobic.

Well, so it's a bit of a white lie...

Walking around a dozen paces down the street and looking back, the building reveals itself. It is somewhat bigger than at first glance. Still, at this end, the building is just a little more than two double windows wide.

There are so many window sizes in Japan, but the type shown is probably little more than 1.5 meters, if that. It is unlikely that the fan for the air conditioning unit is more than 80 cm. wide. At this wide end, the building is no more than 3.5 meters wide, or just over 10 feet.

Assuming the building is roughly 12 meters long (and 2 stories tall), I'd estimate the building to be slightly less than 40 square meters, or 400 square feet. That makes it around the size of a mobile home!

There are many good books about efficient Japanese design, but living, working, and eating in small spaces is something one should get used to in Tokyo. It's not always enjoyable, but it certainly is fun to find extremely efficient spaces!

by mikekato

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