K+S architects' wooden forest hut is a terraced refuge in woods of japan

K+S architects' wooden forest hut is a terraced refuge in woods of japan

a stepping home to follow the sloping site

 

The Forest Hut by K+S Architects is hidden amidst the pristine forests of Karuizawa Oiwake, Japan. Located at an altitude of 1,000 meters, the site is accessed by a long road which winds through the trees. With a protected wildlife area bordering the north side, the area offers a guarantee of continued natural surroundings. Inspired by the untouched forest and the gentle southern slope, the architects imagined a modest dwelling built of timber that would allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in nature. To minimize disruption to the existing landscape, the design prioritized preserving the original site shape — thus, floors were strategically terraced at different levels to follow the natural topography.

Forest Hut K+S Architectsimages © Hiroshi Ueda

 

 

inside k+s architects ‘forest hut’

 

K+S Architects‘ Forest Hut spans three distinct levels, each offering a unique spatial experience. The lower floor functions as a covered outdoor space, lending an entrance porch or a terrace connecting to the garden. During the summer months, this area can even transform into the main dining room. The middle floor offers a semi-outdoor space defined by a kitchen, benches, and a central multi-purpose hall. The outer periphery provides designated areas for cooking, relaxing, and enjoying a warm fire from the wood-burning stove.

 

A central hall remains uncluttered, allowing for flexible use. Interestingly, the terrace and hall can be fully opened, creating an open connection between the two areas. Finally, the upper floor houses the sleeping area, which doubles as a large sofa during the day. A strategically placed bathroom looks onto a view of the mountains opposite the road, further enhancing the connection with the expansive northern forest.

Forest Hut K+S Architects
K+S Architects’ Forest Hut resides in a secluded part of Karuizawa, Japan, surrounded by pristine forests

 

 

a Simple Structure with Minimal Impact

 

Openings on each floor are carefully positioned by K+S Architects to frame specific views of the surrounding forest. By layering these openings at different levels, the architects achieved a stronger sense of integration with the natural environment. Despite its modern functionality, the Forest Hut relies on a conventional single-story wooden structure. The emphasis lies on minimizing the footprint — the floor rests on a minimal foundation with some sections extending outwards. The five pillars supporting the hall roof are designed as slender beams measuring just 75 x 150 millimeters. These beams double as mullions for the wooden fittings, further maintaining a sense of visual harmony with the forest.designboom

Forest Hut K+S Architects
the lowest floor offers a covered outdoor space that can function as an entrance, terrace, or summer dining area
Forest Hut K+S Architects
three stepping floors are built at different elevations to follow the existing topography K+S architects' wooden forest hut is a terraced refuge in woods of japan
the middle floor features a semi-outdoor kitchen, benches, a wood-burning stove, and a flexible central hall

k-s-architects-forest-house-japan-designboom-06a

the top floor houses a sleeping area that doubles as a sofa, and a bathroom with a view of the mountains and forest

K+S architects' wooden forest hut is a terraced refuge in woods of japan
openings on each floor are designed to frame specific views of the surrounding forest

k-s-architects-forest-house-japan-designboom-08a

a simple, single-story wooden structure with a minimal foundation minimizes impact on the environment

 

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project info:

 

project title: Forest Hut

architecture: K+S Architects

location: Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

area: 52 square meters

photography: © Hiroshi Ueda

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