Located in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, the Louver House is a residential commission for a family of four. In recent years, developers have started building several high-rise condominiums in the area, perhaps because of the convenient location and access to the surrounding environment. As a result, the site conditions were far from ideal. In addition, the client’s demands required us to design a comfortable living space for a family of four with parking space for two cars, all within a narrow plot measuring only 74.36 sqm.
Looking up at the house from the street out in front reveals a two-layered volume of space. By designing a building form that takes into account the neighboring structures and eliminating the sense of intimidation that the façade presents to the street, we were able to create a house that blends seamlessly into its setting. Wooden louvers installed on all the exterior walls serve to obstruct lines of sight from the outside while also ensuring that residents have unobstructed views from within. Although the house initially appears to be closed and reclusive, the soft light that seeps through the louvers at night wraps their surroundings in a gentle glow.
Although most of the light that enters the house can only do so through the frontage opening onto the street that measures slightly more than 7 meters, the louvers and enclosed indoor terrace ensure a feeling of openness within the interior of the building. These features also allow the inhabitants to enjoy the subtle shifts in the four seasons at this high northern latitude, as well as the natural beauty of Hokkaido that changes from one moment to another.