top of page


斜面地 三階建 ロケーション ルーフテラス



Light Drops-Ⅲ

This is a steel-framed three-story house built on a slope in the Chubu region.

The project began with a search for a site facing a forest. The site finally became a three-story building, but the building coverage ratio, the floor area ratio, the height limitations, the altitude diagonal lines, and the shade restrictions were very strict in the area of the site. Initially, the plan started as a "1 basement floor and 2 floors above ground", but due to budget limitations, it changed to "3 floors above ground".

Therefore, it was an issue to build a three-story building while having height limitations. In other words, the floor height of each floor had to be very low. As a result, three layers with a floor height of around 2.3m (ceiling height 2.1m) were decided. A "Steel structure" was selected to make the floor thinner and to change consciousness horizontally because the floor height was quite low.

The first floor is divided into two volumes, left and right, centering on the piloti garage. It also has a toilet for guests, a Japanese-style room that serves as a guest room on the entrance side (left wing), and a master bedroom on the opposite side (right wing).

The main flow line to the master bedroom is to go up the stairs at the back of the entrance, continue through the living room corridor on the second floor and go down the stairs on the dining kitchen side. The guest room and the master bedroom are connected by an external wood deck and a bridge. The master bedroom can also be accessed through a door in the walk-in closet next to the parking space.

The living room on the second floor and the dining kitchen are loosely divided by a terrace where rain is not a worry, but it is also connected by a corridor where storage space and toilets are hidden in 'a U-shaped plan'.

This terrace uses a steel deck with large and small holes. The daytime sunlight and the light from the external ceiling at the night, deliver "Light Drops" to the garage (like sunlight passing through the trees).  

The forest side of the living room and dining kitchen is covered with fixed glass on three sides to emphasize the feeling of liberation. Furthermore, the three-sided glass-walled section has a two-story plan with the lifted roof to secure a ceiling height of 3 mts, which is meant to accentuate the feeling of an open space (not only horizontally but also vertically). The foundation of the two-story volume on the thicket side is a cantilever, omitting the pillars at the corners and reducing the burden of earth pressure on the slope. 

On the 3rd floor, the bathroom is located between the children's room (left wing) and the utility room (right wing). On the forest side of the bathroom, there is a “bath terrace” made of the same material as the terrace on the 2nd floor.

Below this “bath terrace”, there is an emblematic tree on the ground that creates a "garden void", and the terrace on the second floor is diagonal to the bath terrace. For this reason, at daytime, sunlight passes through the "bath terrace" and further through the second-floor terrace, delivering unique light particles to the garage. At night, the tree’s light creates “Light Drops” on the bath terrace. Thanks to the three lined sash in the bathroom, it can be fully opened to the terrace, where you can sit in the bathtub and enjoy beer. When you go up the external stairs on the roadside, from the rooftop terrace, you can enjoy a distant view and the nearby forest view.     

As for the exterior, the back of the garage continues out to the forest, so the façade has an open space in the middle, a kind of void, a space that doesn’t cut the forest view, but allows to see through the house and makes a balanced design with the surroundings. Also, the see-through screen at the center of the façade (the upper part of the garage) is made of the same material as the terrace. So, at night, the light from the small windows on the second floor and the light from the balcony of the external stairs on the third floor, create “Light Drops” that change from daytime to nighttime.

On the first floor, the left and right wings are made of the same material (gray). However, on the second floor, the black galvalume steel plate on the left wing and the white ceramic siding on the right wing, were used to emphasize the contrast of material and color.

If you take a drone’s bird-eye view and compare the house with the surrounding buildings, you may see that it is a compact building both vertically and horizontally. In order to achieve a balance (of size and space), the horizontal void when entering the house and the vertical void towards the back of the house, offer a sense of wideness and space.

This house has a dual concept: Industrial product vs Forest. A geometric pattern (known in Japan as KOMOREBI) made from steel (inorganic) creates an organic atmosphere, using artificial lights (industrial) and sunbeams (natural). This KOMOREBI※ is like a pattern that changes with the movement of the sun and moves from the dining room to the living room. 

And after the sun sets, the lighting gives a completely different impression. For example, in the garage, a pattern like “KOMOREBI” is created by the moonlight while in the bath terrace you can see particles of light (like twinkling stars). I dared to adopt industrial products in nature, in order to try a variety of organic design using sunlight, shadow, and artificial light. Two types of KOMOREBI (natural and artificial) are reflected on the floor emphasizes the simple beauty of everyday life.  


KOMOREBI is the interplay of the aesthetics (design) between light, leaves and shadows when sunlight shines through trees. It is a Japanese favorite that creates a pleasant atmosphere for walking through the woods or spending time under a tree and creates a feeling of awe.

bottom of page