organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest

hidden between the trees of a forest in the nagano prefecture of japan is a small earthen house realized by tono mirai architects. the project, which combines traditional materials and building techniques with contemporary environmental strategies, was designed for a client looking for an unusual yet timeless home.

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

all images by takeshi noguchi

 

 

as per the request of the client, shell house was developed to occupy only 20% of the 290 m2 site. following this brief tono mirai took inspiration from natural forms to create a small, organic-shaped building that blends into the surrounding forest. akin to a shell, the house protectively curves around the north and west elevations before opening out to the east and south. this large opening lets sunlight flood into the interior while also connecting the living spaces to the great outdoors. 

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

 

 

to achieve as low an environmental impact as possible, the house was built using local FSC timber, earth, and people’s hands – all without petrochemical materials. all the interior rooms are finished with local earth and wood. the earth wall of the curved surface gently stretches through the whole house, enveloping users in a natural and cozy atmosphere. to the southeast, the building integrates with the forest by the wooden deck, which protrudes outwards. 

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

 

 

shell house is designed according to passive design. the outside wall, roof and ceiling average an overall u-value of 0.49. (w/m2k). the earth wall is combined with 180 mm of wool insulation, which has a u-value of 0.207 (w/m 2 k). thanks to the use of these materials and strategies, the building was rated 5 stars for energy efficiency in the japanese environmental assessment CASBEE S.

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom   

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest designboom

tono-mirai-architects-shell-house-japan-designboom-1800-1

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest

organic timber forms blend tono mirai's shell house into a japanese forest

 

 

 

project info:

 

project name: shell house / the language of forest

location: nagano, japan

architect: tono mirai architects / tono mirai

construction: terashima construction company

structure: timber

storys: 2

building area: 37.80 m2

floor area: 58.04 m2

site area: 290.94 m2

design period: october 2011 – april 2016

construction period: april 2016 – july 2018

 

finishing materials:

outside roof & wall: asphalt shingle

inside wall & ceiling: local earth floor : wood flooring and local earth

fireplace: rammed earth

window and doors: timber sash and door, aluminum and resin composite sash with double and triple glazing

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ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN (894)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS (1593)

TONO MIRAI ARCHITECTS (2)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (186)

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