This house is inspired by this udon restaurant located in the city of Ise in the Mie prefecture. In this particular location, there are a few streets composed only of traditional houses, so it was for a really good source of inspiration and a lot of the machiya examples available in my pack come from this specific location. Take a walk with Google street view if you’re impatient to discover them before I write the respective articles.
When I saw the very narrow shape of this house I immediately thought it was a good example for a machiya. In fact, in order to maximize the number of shops present on a merchant street, Japanese people used to make store fronts very narrow and then, having the house extending in the back, just like in the pictures below.
Once this practice was well installed, the Shogunate decided that people had to pay taxes for the space occupied by the house front, so the more the house was wider the more one had to pay. Because of this, there is a false idea that houses were built so narrow to pay less taxes, but in reality things happened the other way around. Once the habit to have narrow houses became widespread, then the tax was decided to be based on the width of the house.
Here below the images of the interior.
The first floor is inspired by the interior of the same udon restaurant, the second floor by another udon restaurant in the same street.
Finally a short video presentation from the demo