Now this is what you call a narrow house

exterior
© Toshiyuki Yano for Fujiwarramuro Architects

Over on sister site MNN.com, Matt Hickman describes Blu Homes' latest model, the Balance Metro, as a home "specifically designed for installation on narrow urban and suburban lots." It's 36 feet wide! Given the standard sideyards that bylaws require, it probably needs a 44 foot wide lot minimum.

If you want to get the real skinny on narrow urban lots, have a look in Japan. This house in Nada, designed by Fujiwarramuro Architects, sits on a lot that's only 397 square feet.

It's so narrow that it is hard to tell if there is even a stair, but you can catch a glimpse of it at the end of the entry hall; it appears that the stair runs up the back of the house.

There is a price to be paid for putting the stair there; There isn't much privacy. To get to the kids room at the front, I think you probably have to walk through the other bedroom.

Even though the house is a tiny 681 square feet on such a small footprint, there is a dramatic light well running through it.

The view from above.

You can get a lot of density into a neighbourhood if you design the houses to be narrow. We need more of this in North America. More images at ArchDaily.

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