Building a House in Kathmandu

One Kyosho Jutaku for me please.

No, Kyosho Jutaku is not the new vogue drink in town. Kyoshu Jutaku is a Japanese phenomenon. Translated into English it means micro house or mini house.

Micro houses are small, compact and efficient. These little pieces of art have found a market in Japan in the last decade or so because they are a viable economical alternative to “normal” size houses. How small you ask, well, some are built on 340-50 sq feet. In Nepali terms these houses are built on around “Ek Anna Jagaa” although they can be slightly larger as well.

Now there are plenty of small houses in Kathmandu, Asan Tole for example. However, what makes micro houses different is the sense of space compared to actual space.

Kyosho Jutaku houses are built to give an illusion of space, and this is achieved by the shape of the house, use of space, and lighting.

Here’s a YouTube video of a Kyosho Jutaku houses in Japan.

Looking at what can be achieved in a small space. For someone looking to purchase a home in Kathmandu, they perhaps need a little rethink. One anna land in Kathmandu can run from ten lakhs to one crore. So, for example, instead of purchasing four annas of land for forty lakhs, a buyer could just purchase an Anna and half for fifteen lakhs and spend the remaining twenty lakhs to build a house using the principles of Kyosho Jutaku.

What gets on my nerves is that even after investing millions of rupees in buying or building a house in Kathmandu more often than not it ends up resembling the neighbors house. In fact a few years ago a house was built adjacent to my parents home. This is how the conversation between the designer and the owner probably transpired.

Owner: You see that house in front of you?
Designer:Yes.
Owner: Ok, that’s what I want.
Designer: I have some ideas too…
Owner: Nah..just copy it.

And while we are at it could someone enlighten me as to why almost all the houses in Kathmandu try and capture the villa-esque look with unnecessary Roman columns in front of the house. Housing memes, I guess. Don’t even get me started on the bright colors with designs that come straight out of an arts and crafts class of a four year old. Who has been designing these homes?

So why have an unoriginal, bulky, expensive inefficient home when one could possibly build a chic, futurist, fully equipped house for 40 lakhs. Now that’s a bargain.

So if you are thinking of buying or building a house, have a look at the kyosho Jutaku houses. And if you don’t like the concept, for my sanity no Roman columns please.

Anyways, may I end my tirade here,with an wry smile, and with your permission of course and say, the Japanese have shown us once again, its not the size that matters, but how you use it. Hope you got that.

(Shah-nepalifreethinker)

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