japanese firm life style koubou has designed a steel and timber house in domae, fukushimathe scheme takes full advantage of its 76 square meter plot and incorporates nature in the form of plants and trees. the trapezoid-shaped building has three floors, each with a series of voids and solids. a steel framework has been used for the house’s main structure, with the living space built using laminated and panelized cedar planks — a material known as ‘WOOD. ALC’ or ‘W. ALC’ for short. 

life style koubou crafts wooden home in japan using panelized cedar
all images by score stkn



while not uncommon, W. ALC is rarely use this extensively. this is first structure to fully unitize the material, and using it proved to be something of a challenge in logistics. although the material is more difficult to work with than normal wood, the architects believed it was a fair trade in exchange for performance, fire resistance, insulation, and dehumidification. life style koubou, who work extensively with wood in many of its projects, finds this a particularly relevant concern for the future. 

the owners have livened up the space with plant life, adding color to the interior



this simple project has a beautiful balance to it. architect kotaro anzai describes the dynamic between the steel and wooden elements as a ‘relationship similar to that between bones and cells; steel and wood will continue to live forever flexibly, along with the leisurely flowing time stream of the trees.’ in addition, the owners of the house have filled the interior spaces with plants, breathing life into and adding color to the space. 

a juxtaposition of the two main materials — wood and steel

the house is constructed using a laminated composite cedar

the entrance to the three-story property



project info:


structure: steel and timber structure
site area: 80.50 sqm
total floor area: 91.35 sqm
building site: fukushima, japan
design: life style koubou, kotaro anzai
construction: life style koubou, hideaki koseki
flowers: total plants bloom, toshiyasu haga
photography: score stkn