‘house in takaoka’ is an inventive, one-story residence in japan, designed by UNEMORI ARCHITECTS to resist severe climate conditions. located in the toyama prefecture, where harsh winters bring deep snowfall, short daylight hours and high humidity, the dwelling is elevated from the ground on stilts to prevent flooding, allow for air circulation, and prepare for snow accumulation. three volumes compose the single story home, while large, skilfully positioned windows allow for maximum daylight whilst facing away from the neighboring buildings.all images by kai nakamura
with ‘house in takaoka’, UNEMORI ARCHITECTS showcases an architectural solution for flood-threatened areas with difficult climate conditions whilst realizing a bright and comfortable family home for a couple with two young daughters. the one-story, 112 sqm, three-part residence is built on a deep lot in an old district of takaoka, and elevated on stilts 700 mm off the ground. different floor and roof heights between the three volumes spatially visualize the distances and relationships between the various rooms of the home.
the japanese architecture office shifted the position of each room to create varying spatial relationships. for example, a corridor is built closer to the ground, resembling an ‘engawa’, the edging strip of non-tatami-matted flooring leading around traditional japanese houses. a children’s room was built floating in the air like an observation deck while the living room is overlooking an expanse of land and sky at the same time. all windows are positioned to bring in as much light and air as possible while facing away from the neighboring houses.
reinforced concrete columns are employed for the project’s structure, which are supporting the wooden roof beams. the floors are suspended from the roof beams, leaving the underside of the building open, thus creating a line-of-sight underneath. round columns resemble utility poles, large beams that are crossing the rooms as well as occasional thin steel suspension columns. inside, the home features an interplay of reinforced concrete and wood. ‘building the house elevated on stilts and without foundation leaves an open space for further modifications, offering a range of possibilities for the future,’ notes the studio.