a forest of birch trees surrounds hiroshi horio’s house in yobito
photography by fumiaki sato
all images courtesy of hiroshi horio architects office

 

 

 

this timber dwelling located at the northern tip of japan has been designed to both reflect and complement the region’s natural landscape. completed by hiroshi horio architects office, ‘house in yobito’ is positioned on a sloping terrain amid a cluster of birch trees. a partially outdoor garden at ground floor level forms a transitional space, before entering the home’s primary living accommodation above. at the top of the residence, the uppermost storey contains sleeping quarters and a versatile lofted area beneath a gently curved roof. read on to understand the project from the architect’s point of view.

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
the home is positioned on a sloping terrain in northern japan

 

 

 

‘the house, located in the slope overlooking lake abashiri, is for a couple that want to live in a natural rich location. we started from looking for the land. at the first moment we visited the birch woods there, we felt light, winds, sounds and saw the wide view of lake abashiri spreading far.

 

‘we started considering how we can take the natural richness of the location to architecture. the site is about 40m x 50m section, and there is a height difference about 6 meters. passing between the trees, a wide view of the lake is opened. constantly changing woods landscape won’t let us get bored. we tried to take the rich scenery can be seen from various viewpoint levels by skip-floors.’

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
the dwelling is surrounded by a cluster of birch trees

 

 

 

‘from the semi-outdoor inner garden, entrance, living room, bathroom, bedroom, and to the loft, all floors are placed overlapping each other, with making a connecting space under the gently curved roof. the wall of transparent polycarbonate is opened toward the south, in-keeping with the height on the vertical line, while the continuous windows of the living and dining space are opened toward to the distant lake abashiri.

 

‘moderate light comes in from the various sized openings on the wall, making it possible to feel closer feelings to the birch woods around the house. the new perspectives obtained by this construction project is beyond the relationship between the richness and the architecture, these gives us more likelihood to facing closer and deeper with the nature.’ hiroshi horio architects office

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
the design both reflects and complements the region’s natural landscape

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
a partially outdoor garden at ground floor level forms a transitional space

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
living accomodation is found beneath a gently curved roof

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
floor-to-ceiling glazing offer views of the surrounding plantation

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
living accommodation organized around a small fireplace

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
a window frames views of the surrounding forest

hiroshi horio architects office house in yobito japan designboom
parking space for a car is provided at ground floor level