In the recent past earth’s population has skyrocketed, particularly the urban populace which has near doubled in the last few decades. With such a fast-growing population, the need for housing has become an ever-growing issue, particularly in densely populated areas. With such a lack of space for housing and accommodation, there are those who have creative solutions.
Tokyo is a prime location for ‘tiny living’, it has an enormously dense population of 6264 people per square kilometre and culturally is very career-driven. This lack of space combined with an increased focus on work means that more and more people are opting for tiny living, particularly in cities where rents are high as a tiny apartment offers more affordable living.
These tiny homes can still be as fully-functioning as a larger home, with space and equipment for washing, cooking, and sleeping. Check out Alex Martin’s article ‘Downsized Dwellings’ for a deeper look into Tokyo’s tiny homes.
The concept of tiny living is not limited to city apartments, many hotels have now incorporated the space-saving techniques into ‘pod hotels’. Unlike tiny homes, pod hotels generally focus on the bed and sleep environment rather than other creature comforts.
In fact hotels such as 9 Hours, located in Narita Airport, Japan, are becoming increasingly popular. This may be surprising, as each pod has no attached bathroom, no sink or kettle, they contain nothing but a bed! Although this may seem odd and impractical, the design has been very cleverly thought out. The location of this hotel is crucial, as it’s placed inside an airport, each guest will be there for a night or 2 at most, when a flight is due to land in early/late hours, or when there is a gap between connecting flights.
This means that the requirements of each guest will be very similar. Food and drink can be purchased from various stores within the airport, the main requirement is a good night’s sleep. Each pod is built specifically for this, with ultra-comfy bedding and pillows as well as ‘sleep ambient control system’ designed to give you a deep sleep and gradual awakening. A standard booking at the 9 Hours is 9 hours long, however, these sleep capsules can be rented out for short naps as well!
A major issue with tiny living is that these spaces are often designed for single occupancy. Humans are social creatures and many people prefer to live with others, this might be a friend, a partner or an entire family. It would be impossible to cram a family of four into a tiny apartment, and even a pet would require a certain amount of space.
So, how do you satisfy the need for space while still living in your tiny home? Couple Matt and Emily found the solution to this in the form of a converted old school bus, affectionately nicknamed ‘Birdie’. They now travel across America with their child and dog and share their adventures on their Instagram page alwayshomebus.
The key to tiny living? Minimisation and purpose-built spaces. Keep only the things that are important to you, that have significant practical or sentimental value. When creating a space for tiny living, meticulously consider the exact needs and wants of the occupants.
Do they need a standard oven? Or will a counter appliance suffice? By keeping only what is absolutely necessary you can cut down on space and fit your life into a tiny home. If you’re considering tiny living for yourself, contact a member of the team for personal architectural advice, or keep an eye on our blog for the latest in tiny living.