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The Cabins by Atelier Ichiku, various locations

Emerging Architecture Awards 2010: Highly Commended

The source of much amusement among the jury, The Cabins is perhaps the smallest dwelling ever to be featured in the Emerging Awards programme.

With a combined floor area of only 3.24m2, the surreal scene set by these four portable cabins could not go unnoticed. Rather than providing a solitary retreat for the Japanese writer client, however, the jury discussed comedy visions of observing the writer scurrying from study to WC to closet to prayer room in search of that all-important moment of inspiration.

Pictured here in a recently harvested field, it is only the relative depth of each wooden cabin that distinguishes one from another, all being 900mm wide with a single porthole window. The prayer room is the shallowest - at only 300mm deep, it provides just enough space for an altar shelf to sit beneath the unglazed aperture. 600mm is all that is required for the closet, where bedding is stored during the day; 900mm for the WC; and a relatively palatial 1,800mm for the ‘mixed-use’study/bedroom that features a small desk and shelf.

Absent from these photographs but illustrated in the drawings, a table and four chairs are also provided, presumably for entertaining in the external living room defined by the space between the cabins.

Architect Yusuke Omuro/Atelier Ichiku, Tokyo, Japan
Photography Yusuke Omuro , Wakabayashi Hayato

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