Mountain Research / General Design

Mountain Research / General Design

Mountain Research / General Design - Forest, BeamMountain Research / General Design - Beam, WindowsMountain Research / General Design - Image 4 of 10Mountain Research / General Design - ForestMountain Research / General Design - More Images+ 5

Minamisaku District, Japan
  • Architects: General Design
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  261
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2008
  • Photographs
    Photographs:Daici Ano

Text description provided by the architects. Mr. Setsumasa Kobayashi, client of this project, told me that he wanted a simple place in the woods where he can set up his 2-meter dome tent by The North Face and live in there. 

Mountain Research / General Design - Forest, Beam
© Daici Ano

The site, approximately 5,300 square meters, is located in the mountain in Kawakami Village of Nagano Prefecture. Here I provided a wood deck to set up the 2-meter dome tent, kitchen, storage, bathroom and toilet, shelves for firewood, and a solar panel system.  

Mountain Research / General Design - Forest
© Daici Ano

Basically the client and his wife spend most of their time outside.  Wood deck is their living room, and the 2-meter dome tent is their bedroom and shelter from wind and rain.  

Mountain Research / General Design - Image 4 of 10
© Daici Ano

I did not intend to design a regular weekend house, and didn't want comfortable and protected rooms with beautiful views. I was determined to support his clear and powerful vision on the nature, so I eliminated anything that would interfere with his thoughts.  

Mountain Research / General Design - Beam, Windows
© Daici Ano

What I created here is a simple and comfortable base for his active outdoor lifestyle in the woods. 


Minimum essentials
I placed two boxes of built-up 120mm X 120mm local larch lumber, and connected them by placing large wood decks for the 2-meter dome tent in between. Since I didn't want to touch the existing landscape, I set various floor levels along the mountainside, and these floors become places for various activities; they can sit and rest there, or they can store firewood underneath, or they can simply stay there and enjoy ever-changing beauty of the surrounding scenery.


All doors are collapsible panels, so when all doors are collapsed, all rooms are totally open-air.  All is made of unfinished larch, and it already started to fade naturally into grey.  In a long course of time, it will eventually dissolve into the woods and return to the earth.


Some parts of this house does not fulfill basic residential requirements such as waterproofing, insulation against weather, and durability.  But in this project I focused on thinking what important things I might lose by trying to achieve all basic standards. 

What I needed was to really think about minimum essentials for life in the woods. Naturally they might find some inconvenience, but I believe that people really understand true sense of liberation and freedom under some inconvenient circumstances.  

I don't want architecture to be convenient "tools" which guarantee safe and ordinary lives. I hope that  architecture will be a place where people discover something new, and make innovations in their life styles.

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About this office
Cite: "Mountain Research / General Design" 30 Dec 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Daici Ano

山脉研究所 / General Design

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