Hilltop House

Shiga, Japan
FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
Norihito Yamauchi

This exquisite white box house designed by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects has been built on top of a hill that was generated during land development at the foot of a mountain. The housing site occupies about 830 square-metres, and is situated in a location with nice panoramic views of nearby mountains.

The client wanted to create extraordinary living experience while making the best use of the location. Kouichi Kimura planned a courtyard house that faces open towards the mountains as a borrowed scenery. The building is composed of a horizontally-emphasised voluminous shape and a wall surrounding the courtyard. It has been designed to be integrated in the building, which has created beautiful skyline view, making itself as part of the new scenery and improving the scenic value that resides in the location.

The gravelled courtyard has been designed as a blank space. With the background landscape as the borrowed scenery, it gives you a sense of tranquility. A space under the eaves has been designed to provide a water basin facing the courtyard and a room. Visually connecting inside with outside, it appears differently every second and is therefore used as a gallery. The landscape reflected in the water and/or light and shade, together with the objects placed there, creates delicate scenes. The independent partition wall inside the room disperses light from the skylight, making the space more impressive. The bench, wall, and ceiling are continued beyond the glass partition and create depth in the scene to produce flows between inside and outside.

The building takes in landscapes and external environment. Each individual room utilises natural light, creating a continuous space while loosely segmented. The house appears tranquil and fluid that will surely help to produce fresh and extraordinary space experiences in daily life.

In the shop