Located in a ski resort town in Japan, this wooden home has a keen focus on its natural surroundings. Designed by Naka Studio, a Tokyo-based firm, the home’s livable space is expanded greatly by the semi-outdoor deck area under its clear plastic roof. During summer, the area is completely open to the air, and is used as a traditional covered patio. During winter, it becomes an integral part of the residence. Plastic sheeting covers each edge of the deck, and furniture can be moved out to make it a large living space year-round. All-wood decor lines the interior, creating a warm and inviting aura for everyone living within.
The main house consists of two floors of completely indoor space. Its bottom level contains public rooms of the dwelling, including the kitchen and living room, and has the widest and tallest windows in the building. The upper floor has smaller windows because of the private nature of its rooms, but receives plenty of natural light through one edge of completely transparent roof panels.
The house’s usable living space is actually much larger than its interior floorplan suggests, with a large portion of the area under its roof built as a semi-outdoor deck area. During winter, plastic sheeting is erected along the sides of the deck and the area is kept completely usable.
In one corner of a deck, a small pod-like addition to the main structure contains a tub and sauna area. The rest of the area can be rearranged as its residents desire, with different configurations for summer and winter as well as for special occasions.
The interior of the house is dominated by a few well-picked wood varieties, establishing a relationship between it and the woods outside. The woods chosen appear similar to plywood from afar, but reveal their quality and beauty up close.
Continuing on the theme of simplicity from afar leading to up-close elegance, the kitchen counter is uncovered from the sides (supported by a few metal stilts) and the hanging light bulbs of the room are exposed.
The living room table, as well, has a minimal profile like the kitchen counter. Bench seating is built into the structure of the residence, and a modern take on the classic black furnace warms the room from a corner.
Three panels of sliding window doors give direct access out onto the deck, where the owners of the home can host guests and keep watch over children playing beyond the boundaries of the building.