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Shell House   -The language of forest-


Nagano Japan  2018 



Shell House / The language of forest



-Small earth house with local wood, clay and traditional techniques

in contemporary environment performance. -


It is a small villa in the forest of Nagano Pref. located center of Japan.

A client's request that "architecture that is unusual, beautiful, and does not make you feel old in time" and strict condition of the retreat line by the landscape regulation and the building volume ratio of 20% of 290M2 site were design requirements.


Following that, close the north / west side that lots of passengers, a waterway flows, and a large opening to take in sunlight and heat. Think about the organic shape of "totally blend into the surrounding forest" which it has on the east and south side. To be a model of house less environmental impact, with local FSC wood, earth and people's hands without petrochemical materials.


All the interior rooms are finished with local earth and wood. The earth wall of the curved surface gently stretches across the whole. When drawing in the southeast wooden fittings, it becomes integrated with the forest through the wood deck.


On the first floor, change with a stepped up, with sanitary and restroom in the back of continuous wooden doors.


This house is designed according to passive design. Outside wall, roof and ceiling average heat transmission coefficient UA = 0.49. (W/m2K), Japanese environmental assessment CASBEE S ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ and satisfying the primary energy consumption standards in Japan reduction of 11%. The earth wall is combined with 180 mm wool insulation U = 0.207 (W/m 2 K).



Seven beams born from the organic earth wall are expressed the cycle of life of the human and universe. And the two inscribed circles represent the correspondence of them.


It is the architecture talk to human born from and return to Earth.



■Architectural Institute of Japan  Selected Architectural Design 2020


Juror's comment......SAKURA Kousuke (Shinsyu University assistant professor)



On arrival, the first thing that strikes one is the outer appearance, a cute shape like an egg split in half with an aperture like a bird's bill open toward the water channel. At first sight it appears odd, but it was apparently a form that resulted necessarily from taking careful account of legislation on landscape protection, the existing trees, and the waterway flowing along the side of the site. The design conditions peculiar to Karuizawa are crystallized positively into this design. Combining the wooden shell structure with an earthen wall successfully softens the strong impression created by the hard linear form of the wood. For the execution demanding outstanding skill, the architect did not forget to pay respect, saying, “Nagano Prefecture enjoys having many highly skilled craftworkers, without whom the project could not have been completed”. It is symbolized by the elegant wooden laths deliberately left on part of the earthen wall. On the interior, apart from the side facing the water course, almost all perspectives present a combination of timber and earthen wall, giving the comforting feeling of being embraced by nature. This work is the ideal holiday retreat, in which one will be able to enjoy the changes not only in the surrounding trees, but also its timber and earthen walls, over the years.

▲ 計画内容 詳細 CLICK

    Build the earth with craftsmanship


            with local earth, trees, and people

              Architects studio in Karuizawa Japan


        遠野未来 建築事務所

地域の土・木・人で 大地を建築する



 ■English TEXT   

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