Elegance in a small Space

Elegance in a small Space

Arrow House

Like a delicate sculpture, the steel structure of the Arrow House fits into the small remaining space in Japan's densely populated capitol.


With its snow white and extravagantly shaped shell, the small single-family house by Apollo Architects looks in its environment a little like from another world. A wall, protruding from the front façade like a sail, optically emphasizes the separation from the adjacent building to the right. As if it was designed for shooting movie scenes, a long stairway leads along the “sail” to the entrance on the upper floor. The side of the house that is elongated by the “sail” is entirely closed. The same counts for the backside of the building.

The main façade of the long structure is almost entirely glazed on both floors. Triangular overhangs create an intermediate space between inside and outside in the entrance area. The left side of the building, apparently facing the firewall of an adjacent building and therefore not required as a privacy shield, is also spaciously glazed and wide open towards the outside. On the upper floor and in the loft that can be accessed from there by a ladder, a skylight provides additional brightness. This skylight runs along the entire length of the pitched roof, tapering at the rear of the building.

The Sky above Tokyo

On the upper floor, there is the open plan living and kitchen area. The floor of the living area, from where the loft is accessed, is elevated, which creates a spacial separation from the kitchen. Besides its use as the living area, it is also supposed to function as a photo studio. From here, you may gaze into the sky through the skylight and maybe forget for a moment that you are living in one of the most densely populated metropolises in the world.

The interior has parquet flooring. Walls and furniture are of the same white as it is seen in the façade of the building. All in all, the outer elegance is continued inside.

Outstanding Issues

The footage and information material of Apollo Architects leave some outstanding issues. What might be discovered on the ground floor besides a shelf and an undoubtedly stylish bathroom remains a secret . Furthermore, I personally would have liked to have a look at the other sides of the building apart from the front side, but, apparently, there was not enough space for taking pictures.(?)

Project details


Apollo Architects (Tokyo)


Completion: March 2013


floor area: 84,22 m²

site area: 118,36 m²


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