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photo: yoshiaki maezawa

Nakanosawa House

If this house could speak, it would say,“I dream never to be completed.”


Japan’s snow covered northernmost region is where this house stands.  Since it is typical in midwinter for 5 meters of snow to pile up here, it was my priority to provide efficient heating inside this house when I designed it.  At the same time, I wanted to have the architectural purpose that creates an upscale and enjoyable time for the family who lives in it during a long winter.


This house longs to have an ever-evolving interior space.  The dream of never feeling complete describes its desire to adequately harmonize with the beautiful scenic views, the changes of the seasons, as well as each chapter in history of the family who calls it home. Talking of who change it, the client is me who is architect & environmental artist (self builder). The interior incompletion is client’s request. This house initial step completed at January 2015.


The pillars are installed at intervals of 1.82m.  The interval is the same as the Japanese traditional size in architecture called “ichi-ken” (the length of a tatami mat).  The length, “ichi-ken” is not only structurally sound, but is also the standard length of timbers produced in Japan.   In fact, Most of the historical wooden buildings in Japan are constructed with these intervals.  The diameter of the pillars is 105mm and is called “Sansun-gobu,” a Japanese traditional standard size.  The length from the floor to the top of the beam is 2.70m and is called “kyu-shaku”, which is also one of the Japanese traditional standard sizes in architecture.  In short, I designed this house based on Japanese traditional standard sizes in architecture.


It is possible to add tree houses inside this home utilizing the pillars and beams.  The inside look of the house transforms by adding or removing the tree houses with the changing outdoor sceneries viewed through the windows and each stage of the history of the family.  After all, this house & house’s client always dreams to stay incomplete.

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