a+u Architecture and Urbanism Magazine

Makoto Takei Chie Nabeshima Spread House

The single-story house is held above its hillside clearing on cedar-clad steel columns.

The 10.85 meters (35.6 feet) square residence contains a 4.4 meter (14.4 feet) square central opening. The roof slopes upwards from the inner courtyard, so the home’s profile is box-like from the outside.

The exterior is clad with burned cedar panels.

The inner courtyard frames a tiny section of the forest as if, according to the architect, it is another room within the house.

The lightly stained cedar-paneled interior walls extend from the columns below. They are positioned diagonally in the square volume to hold the structure against the horizontal shear; this also helps to break free from a completely orthogonal floorplan.

The walls loosely partitions the gallery-like interior. Together with the sloped ceiling, they impart a sense of opening outwards into forest, lifting one’s gaze to the splendorous tree canopy all around.

(This article has been reprinted from “JA+U“.)