Tiny houses

My curiosity was aroused by an NPR story.

For a long time, the Japanese have endured crowded transportation, cities, and living space. But in recent years, Japanese architects have turned necessity into virtue, employing parking-space-sized lots into livable homes.

And it’s catching on elsewhere, too.  Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny Houses are from 65 to 837 square feet.

Here’s a tour of one of Jay’s tiny houses. Some are kits you can build yourself.

This Beetle’s House was designed by Terunobu Fujimori to house a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

A house in Paris, another city that doesn’t have much space:

This “tiny house in a plum grove” by architect Kazuyo Sejima is actually a high-end house in Tokyo.

And for the winner in the “how low can you go?” category, tiny hotel capsules, originally created 20 years ago as  inexpensive lodging for those who missed the last train home–6 1/2 ft. deep, 5 ft. wide, no standing room. They are now the homes of last resort for Tokyo’s jobless.  Pretty creepy, how comfortable they look.

photo Ko Sasaki for The New York Times