UID architects' japanese butterfly house takes shape as a cluster of folding rooftops

UID architects' japanese butterfly house takes shape as a cluster of folding rooftops

the butterfly house echoes a clustered village


with its butterfly house, japanese studio UID architects reimagines a typical housing typology of timber structure and gabled roofs. the project functions as a tea ceremony house, and takes shape as a collection of micro dwellings, each capped with a folded roof plane. by clustering and overlapping these tiny structures, the house takes the qualities of a small village with meandering alleys and a complex, fractal canopy above. along the underside of these roofs is an expressive timber structure, which defines the warm and textural atmosphere of the house — with dramatic, angled surfaces and rhythmic joists.

UID architects butterfly house
images by koji fujii / nacasa & partners



uid architects integration of nature


the butterfly house marks a continuation of UID architects (see more here) founder keisuke maeda’s search for a balanced relationship between humans and the natural environment. the dramatically angled roofs don’t just lend a dynamic atmosphere and ensure long, vertical windows. these sloping surfaces perform as rainwater collectors, avoiding leaks and allowing occupants to reuse collected water for domestic purposes. 

UID architects butterfly house



gardens remove the house from its crowded context


alongside the performative architecture is a thoughtfully landscaped garden filled with trees. with designs by toshiya ogino, the garden removes the house to an extent from its crowded suburban context and suggests a more picturesque site from within. sunlight filters through the small trees to create natural patterns of shadowing onto the flooring and rock gardens. meanwhile at night, the underside of the roof planes are illuminated to become an array of surfaces glowing warmly through the darkness.

UID architects butterfly house
a fortress-like retaining wall further isolates UID architects’ house from the surroundings

UID architects butterfly houseoverlapping surfaces create a complex roofscape over the butterfly house

UID architects butterfly housethe underside of the roofs are illuminated at night and glow warmly in the darkness


UID architects butterfly housesunlight filters through the trees to wash the interiors and rock gardens

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happening now! sky-frame’s ‘my point of view’ film presents david montalba’s surf-inspired architecture in malibu, using their expansive glass doors for uninterrupted ocean views – see the whole video on designboom! 

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UID architects (6)

wood and timber architecture and design (970)


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