Forest Bath / Kyoko Ikuta Architecture Laboratory

© Tomohiro Sakashita

Architects: Kyoko Ikuta Architecture Laboratory – Kyoko Ikuta, Katsuyuki Ozeki – Ozeki Architects & Associates
Location: Nagano,
Completion: 2010
Construction material: Steel
Land area: 590.94 sqm
Total floor area: 71.37 sqm
Structural engineering: IIJIMA Structural Design Office
Constructor: Daiichi kensetsu
Photographs: Tomohiro Sakashita

© Tomohiro Sakashita

This is a summer house situated in the forest. In this house, by “digging a triangle plane into a house figure”, the view extending obliquely upward was gained. The request of the clients who are an old couple was “wanting the space in which we can spend free time without doing anything.” They wanted a summer house in which they could expose their bodies into the woods as they want, look at the trees and sunbeams shining through the branches, and spend time in the house rather than planning to do something special.

© Tomohiro Sakashita

Since the site is comparatively flat, a specific view does not open, like hills, but the big Japanese larch which has grown over ten meter is beautiful. Because the space between the neighbor cottages was not wide, the exchange of direct views was to be avoided, and it meant adopting nature as much as possible. Branches of the larch start from six meter from the ground. Because the views of the branches cannot be caught by adopting horizontal openings, we considered catching it by the opening in a slant direction.

© Tomohiro Sakashita

Wooden shade is reflected in the center room dug by the triangle from a high position, and it changes every moment as time goes by. A natural expression is translated and expressed in forms, such as the shade of a tree and light, on a white canvas. Moreover, a sense of distance with trees is adjusted depending on how to place yourself, and it provides a spatial experience filtered with depth. Room for oneself will be found with various expressions of the environment by the season, sunlight, time of the day, etc.


On the other hand, the rooms of both wings are contrastively darker than the center room, and they are illuminated by the wavering light coming from the center room. Through the low eaves, the view enters the space which leads to the bottom grass of the woods.

Cite: "Forest Bath / Kyoko Ikuta Architecture Laboratory" 09 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Gisela Schmoll

    Lovely house. (Though where is the storage space for clothes, etc.?)

  • jeb

    fantastic idea. nicely done

  • drew

    do they not learn the students in Asia how you can make clever and efficient floorplans???

  • Gisela Schmoll

    It’s not clear what you are trying to say? Positive, negative?

  • Yin

    A poetic masterpiece!

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