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Nestling in the Earth

Nestling in the Earth

Project Description

It is a house for an elderly couple. My main proposals were to surround three sides of the living room with glass and shoji screens, in order to create an open interior space filled with light, as well as to create another small room within it by lowering part of the floor.  I surrounded the house with trees (bamboo) and wooden lattices to block views in from the neighbours. The exterior view from the street is mainly the lattices.

Behind the lattices there is bamboo and then the partially visible, glass-walled living room. Inside the glass walls are shoji screens made of Japanese paper. At night, lit-up shoji screens look like a floating white box, lighting up the narrow approach to the house, as well as presenting soft lighting towards the townscape.

Where the floor is lowered there is a small sitting space based on the dimensions of the human body, so the couple can spend time feeling secure and cosy. The room has a space for the two to watch TV together, a little study for the wife, a dining area, and a space with tatami mats. Therefore when you are standing up it looks like one large space, but when you sit down you feel like you are in an enclosed space. As I designed this house, I had an image of an ancient pit dwelling, built by digging into the ground.


Nestling in the Earth

  • Gifu-shi Gifu
  • Japan
Completion: 2014
Used materials
  • Wood
  • Glass

Type of Building

Architect Office