Having influenced great architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, modernism owes much to traditional Japanese design and architecture, famous for its sublime simplicity and pure, minimalist spaces. Now, while there is a bit of a "quaint" stereotype going on for tiny homes, this kind of back-to-basics house does well too with a Japanese aesthetic. Built for a client who grew up in Japan, Oregon Cottage Company's architect Todd Miller designed this peaceful, 134-square-foot dwelling based around the traditional Japanese tea room.
Doing away with the usual sitting benches that one typically sees in tiny homes, Miller's client wanted a space that was defined by the tatami mat, both a practical furnishing and a spatial unit with the aspect ratio of 2 to 1. Here the sitting area -- three tatami mats in size -- occupies a raised floor that also hides storage drawers. There is a sunken tea-warming hearth, and a hidden tea-serving chest, and a "honouring alcove" (tokonoma) tucked in the corner. It's a lovely, calming space that is uplifting yet composed.
Following tradition, there is even a tiny 28.5 by 28.5 inch "guest entrance" into the tea room (the host usually has a separate entrance).
The 5-foot long kitchen counter is relatively generous, and there is a small dining area opposite. The kitchen shelving is made from wood that has its edges purposefully left raw, bringing in a reminder of nature inside.
Going up the sliding red oak ladder to the upstairs loft, there are once again three tatami mats used to delineate the sleeping space. Two large skylights help to bring light and air into the loft.
Of course, the home would not be complete without a decent Japanese style bathroom, outfitted with a Japanese Ofulo 1-TP soaking tub that doubles as a shower. Usually in Japanese bathrooms, the toilet is not put in the same space as the bathtub, but it appears here that it may be the case with the composting toilet due to space constraints.
All told, this "Tiny Tea House" cottage cost USD $34,500 and was based on one of the company's previous designs, the Alsek. It's a graceful, mobile interpretation of how diverse tiny homes can be. More over at Oregon Cottage Company.