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Florian Busch Architects, Hokkaido, Japan

Ramified: Hokkaido Residence by Florian Busch Architects

The town of Rankoshi, which is located in Japan’s northern prefecture of Hokkaido, has grown significantly over the past few years thanks to winter sports tourism. The clients wanted to withdraw from the hustle and bustle; to this end, they commissioned Florian Busch Architects to create a house in the forest as a retreat for their family. The parcel of land has three hectares of virtually pristine woods and is accessed by a road to the north. A small hill screens it from views from the road. To the south, it slopes gently downwards. There is a clearing in one spot among the tall pines, but it is not actually this clearing the architect wanted as a building site. Instead, the house nestles against the forest, grows together with it and makes it its own. Furthermore, moving through the house means moving through the forest. 

In the floor plan, ten branches extend from a communal centre. These branches form individual spaces such as sleeping areas, bathrooms, studies and the entrance to the house. Each branch ends with full glazing, as if it had been cut off in that spot. The unobstructed view only intensifies the sylvan experience. The residence may be in the sheltered indoor space, yet the forest is an inherent part of the house. The kitchen, which features a free-standing island, forms the central point of the building. Just like the doors, window frames and some of the walls, this room has wooden surfaces with a prominent grain that contrasts with the white-plastered areas and the polished, dark-coloured floor slab.

The ramified structure consists of a wood-frame construction on a slab of reinforced concrete. In order to level the terrain, this slab has been set on finely dimensioned steel supports. The entire house seems to float above the forest floor, for even at the point of least distance, a shadow joint nonetheless separates the building from the ground.

Further information:

Team: Florian Busch, Sachiko Miyazaki, Mayo Shigemura, Luca Marulli, Tenesha Caton, Max Duval
Statics: OAK (Masato Araya, Takayuki Fujimoto)
Contractor: Wakisaka Corporation
BGF: 230 m²

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DETAIL 9/2021

Concept: Sports Facilities

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