Forest of Pillars


Designed by IGArchitects, the house is located in Fukushima, Japan. The office describes the project as follows:

The house was built on a flag pole land with a large mountain on its back, surrounded by other houses. The plan was to build a two-family house, and the client envisioned to live in a one-story house with a generous space, yet with respecting privacy from surrounding and between the families. A suitable way to achieve this seemed to create both closed and opened environment that can incorporate greenery from the back mountain.

The building is arranged in a boomerang shape along the back hill, with the south side wide open. Walls are built to block the view from the surrounding area, and clerestory windows are placed above the wall, giving an impression of as if only the roof is floating. Inside, there is one large open space with boxes that encloses private functions such as toilets and bathroom located separately. These boxes and forest of pillars creates depth in this casual park like open space, accepting habitant’s free activities.

The pillars are placed in equal distance of 1.8m to each other as a structure, but also its size of 90mm squared makes density like furniture that is close to human scale. These 90mm squared pillars with 3.5m height are forested and supporting the roof. The slender columns are installed in accordance with the general rules of wooden architecture, but the number and density of the pillars and the high scale of 3.5m provides a continuous atmosphere with the greenery outside, creating an artificial forest that feels almost like natural forest.

This architecture attempted to disassemble ideas of each element once, and then to reconstruct. The pillars are out of walls, forested as if its dancing. The roof is disconnected from the walls, floating freely. The separated elements are united once again in a different form. In result, the displacement and gaps are produced, which creates new relationships within interior space and between outside and inside of the building. By using a simple wooden structure composition of positioning pillars in 1.8m pitch, complex and rich environment is produced that goes beyond its structure. This house is aimed to be an architecture where peace like of a forest, and roughness like of a forest ground to coexist.