y house

Niigata, Japan
Photo © Isamu Murai
Photo © Isamu Murai
Photo © Isamu Murai
Photo © Isamu Murai
Photo © Isamu Murai
Architects
Takeru Shoji Architects
Location
Niigata, Japan
Year
2013

Facing to the approach to a shrine, the site is found just beside gigantic 200-year-old Japanese zelkova trees. How can we bring this richness of surroundings as not only invaluable experience in the characteristic context but also richness of feelings into the daily life? That’s the starting point for the project.

Appropriately, the requirements from the client are two: Firstly, the house needs to be just simple and capable of any future changes with enjoyable aging process of the house in their lifetime. And the other is to make good use of the richness of the site: gigantic Japanese zelkova trees and the approach to the shrine.

Since the Japanese zelkova trees are 20 meters in height, in a conventional way, we cannot get a view of verdant branches from mundane windows on the ground floor. Therefore living room has 3.5 meters of ceiling height, and moreover a large high-side band-window. At the both ends of the living room, there are loft spaces used also for a landing space of the stair. We look up swinging trees in the breeze from the large band-window in everyday life, and even we can touch the trees directly from the terrace at the very end of the loft space. Sunlight filtering through the trees enters in the living room in summer. Colorful leaves fall on the table in autumn. Consequently, the house is obtained the environment and experience as if we ate, slept, read and played in the forest.

The exterior is clad in western red cedar, the floor is covered with scaffolding cedar boards, and the stair is made with wrought iron works and lauan. Using the materials as it is, accepting the changes as time goes by, House to catch the tree is aimed at being an ever-changing house with the life style of the clients and the seasons.

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