‘hut’ by koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department in nara, japan all images courtesy koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department

japanese practice koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department has completed ‘hut’, a small elevated shelter on a slope of a forest in nara, japan. exploring the elements of a torri corridor – a traditional gateway to a shrine – the design utilizes a rhythmic composition of pillars and beams to create a simple space that connects the inhabitant with the forest.

koji kakiuchi: hut exterior view

jutting out of a dramatic decline in the topography, the 8.31m2 hut is a tapering rectangular form clad in vertical-running charred timber panels. the structure is surrounded by a collection of grown trees which camouflages its presence from the street. in the approach, the structure gives the illusion of being on a foundation, floating just above the higher part of the land. access to the hut is provided by a ladder that leads up to a small hatch in the floor.

koji kakiuchi: hut street facade

koji kakiuchi: hut view from under the hut

mimicking the elements of a torri corridor, the hut is constructed with a repetitive frame that has been raised off the ground with braces. the interior is completely finished with japanese cedar boards, and is simply divided into two zones – a room and a sheltered outdoor terrace. the single-sloped roof funnels both the space and views toward the forest, establishing visual gravity to the lush site.    

koji kakiuchi: hut views of the outdoor terrace

koji kakiuchi: hut hatch

koji kakiuchi: hut (left) interior view (right) within context

koji kakiuchi: hut view from the street

koji kakiuchi: hut a torri corridor

koji kakiuchi: hut schematic models of the process

koji kakiuchi: hut physical model

koji kakiuchi: hut section and plan

koji kakiuchi: hut during construction

koji kakiuchi: hut

project info:

site area: 445.64 m2 total floor area: 8.31 m2

structural engineer: satoru shimoyama