Concrete Plinths Elevate Woodland House Like A Bridge

Located in the Nagano Prefecture, Japan and designed by Toshihito Yokouchi, House in the Woods is positioned on a site on the western foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains approximately 1500m above sea level. The woodland location is damp and by elevating the home above the moist conditions with 2 concrete plinths, the home’;s wood design stays dry. The 2 plinths also create a bridge effect for the long, linear floor plan and this means that wildlife can easily travel below the house as though it wasn’;t even there.



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By elevating House in the Woods above ground the architects where also able to “level out” the house on the irregular topography.

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A gravel driveway leading up to House in the Woods was leveled out and large boulders found on the site line the edge, acting like a natural retaining wall.

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With the social and private zones of House in the Woods high above ground, window treatments are not needed in the evening when the lights are on.

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Access to the home is on the outside of the tall plinth, which also holds a niche, fitted with 2 propane tanks that feed the fireplace in the living room above.

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Once inside the concrete plinth a wood stairwell leads up to the living room, in an ode to the wood that is the main building material, the stair rail system is made from a series of vertically installed 2x4s.

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The stairwell leads up to the living room with its landing between the fireplace and the wall of windows.

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The entire interior of this level is clad in wood, including the kitchen cabinetry and even the furnishings.

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The media center has been positioned between the fireplace and the stairwell and with seating on 3 sides, there is plenty seats to sit and enjoy the TV, fireplace or the views.

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The fireplace is centrally located in the width of the home and with the stairwell on one side, a hallway leads to a private space behind the fireplace on the other side.

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The private space is a secluded seating area that can be used as an office, craft space, meeting room, or of course a place to eat.

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The main eating area, or dining room is located behind the living room and in front of the kitchen.

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The kitchen is a small space tucked onto a wall between a door to the private zones and the window wall, by having the dining room nearby the table can double as extra prep space if need by.

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The 2 bedrooms and the master suite still feature wood ceilings and doors but the flooring has been replaced with carpeting and the walls are drywalled.

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Every room has beautiful views of the surrounding forest and with the home perched up high on the concrete plinths it is almost like living in a tree house.

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As ideal as the a raised House in the Woods is, the added water feature within the concrete plinth makes it just that much more magical.

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Toshihito Yokouchi Architect and Associates.
Photography courtesy of Toshihito Yokouchi.

Living amongst the forest in a raised wood house creates the perfect tree house ambiance but if you live in suburbia you can still have a similar type of ambiance by building a backyard structure with a roof deck covered in growing vines.

 Concrete Plinths Elevate Woodland House Like A Bridge

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