‘tiered lodge’ by naoi architecture & design office in nasu, japan all images courtesy naoi architecture & design office image © hiroshi ueda

tokyo-based firm naoi architeture & design office (katsutoshi naoi, noriko naoi) has completed ‘tiered lodge’, a multi-storey holiday house for a family of three in the nasu highlands, japan. surrounded by a dense forest of deciduous trees, the design focuses on establishing a sense of unity with the outdoor environment while simultaneously taking advantage of the sloping plot.

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeon site image © hiroshi ueda

located at an altitude of 1,000m above sea level, the natural topography of the site varies a total of 8 m from the east to the west. in response, one half of the house was stepped down to correspond with the contours of the terrain. pockets of outdoor space was created by shifting and staggering the two halves laterally. the resulting arrangement was connected where they overlapped to create an interior space with levels that overlooked one another. long stretches of glazing and sliding glass doors enable the inhabitants to extend the activities of the house into the outdoors.

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeeast elevation image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge(left) approach (right) entrance images © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeoutdoor terrace image © hiroshi ueda

on the lowest level of the dwelling is the dining and kitchen area which is directly connected to the outdoor terrace. a glazed corner of the layout admits a large level of southern sunlight. overlooking this space on a slightly elevated platform is the living room which gains separation in the layout without compromising on the sense of connection between inhabitants. the space gains a different view of the surrounding forest through another floor-to-ceiling window that wraps around the corner of the structure. the bedroom is accommodated on a loft level, gaining privacy from the communal zone below.

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeview of terrace from kitchen/dining image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeinterior view image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeview towards kitchen and upper level image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgefrom kitchen with living room platform to the left image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge(left) stairs to living space (right) towards entrance images © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeliving space platform image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgestairs to bedroom image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgelibrary image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeinterior at night image © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge terrace at nightimage © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodgeimage © hiroshi ueda

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge schematic diagram (1) volume – the basic structure is inspired by a primitive hut (2) level – half of the structure is extended downwards in order to conform to the shape of the terrain (3) slide – the volumes are then staggered to form two small houses, which create a sense of depth in relation to the forest (4) void – by hollowing out the parts that overlap with each other, a sense of unity with the outdoor environment is achieved, allowing the forest to traverse the interior of the building

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge site and floor plan / level 0

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge floor plan / level +1

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge section

naoi architecture & design office: tiered lodge (left) west elevation (right) south elevation