Challenged with an irregular, triangular and sloping site outside of the city of Sapporo in Japan, House in Nishino is a project completed by Yoshichika Takagi + Associates. To reduce the overall construction costs of building the family home, the excavation process was small and the architects exploited the building’s height instead with the addition of a second level.
The envelope of the dwelling uses timber wood panels and at its core, a house-shaped volume clad in polycarbonate panels interrupts the wood façade. This feature was Yoshichika Takagi’s response in providing a comfortable space for the family to tackle Hokkaido’s harsh winters. Inside, this floor-to-ceiling atrium space serves as a warm internal courtyard due to the green-house effect it promotes. A single small tree has been planted in the center, while the transparency of each side allows natural light to diffuse into this communal area of the home. The home decor is modern, even minimalist, and very practical, which is characteristic of Japan.
The other programs are organized around the center space and are never really closed off– even the spaces upstairs. The walls of the second level are slightly tilted to follow the gabled roof of the house-shaped void. This encourages air flow and simultaneously, gives the impression of a larger floor-plan. In turn, each of the rooms open and face into this courtyard allowing an even distribution of natural light from the inside without the need of many windows on the exterior façade.