Circular hollows create sunken rooms and curved balconies inside this wooden house in Japan by UID Architects. The residence is named Pit House, in reference to the six excavated spaces that provide circular living rooms inside the building and terraces in the garden.
UID Architects Pit House Technical Information
- Architects1-3: UID Architects
- Location: Okayama, Japan
- Material: Wood / Manufactured Stones4
- Project Year: 2011
- Site Area: 232.12 m2
- Building Area: 115.0 m2
- Photographs: © Koji Fujii / Nacasa ＆ Partners
The architectural principle is not a division from the land with a wall, but an interior that is an extension of the outside and connection of the surface like a pit dwelling that is undivided from the land.
– Keisuke Maeda
Pit House Photographs
Article by the Architects
The house positions itself in Okayama Prefecture near Seto Inland Sea. The site is located on a terraced mountain hill that was developed as residential land. The family consists of a married couple and a child. We considered a new way of architecture on the site condition, where views are open towards the north, and the ground level is one meter higher than the road level.
The relationship is as if the site’s natural environment and the architecture coexist at the same time. The architecture has become a part of the whole landscape of an undivided environment, not simply thinking about the connection to the surroundings from the cut-off opening in walls.
This time, we came up with a living form that accepts the outside environment, such as the surface of the terraced land, surrounding neighboring houses’ fences and walls, residences that sit along the slope and far beyond mountains. Thus, the architectural principle is not a division from the land with a wall, but an interior that is an extension of the outside and connection of the surface like a pit dwelling that is undivided from the land.
In concrete, six types of floor levels, including a round floor created by digging the surface, are connected with a concrete cylinder core at the center. Furthermore, delicate and multiple branch-like columns that support the slightly floating boxes produce various one-room spaces.
Environment and architecture create new extensive relationships by connecting surfaces. The territory is undefined in the space in a body sense. I think that is a more natural relationship of architecture standing in a landscape.
About Universal Innovative Design (UID) Architects
Based in Hiroshima, Universal Innovative Design (UID) was established by Keisuke Maeda in 2003. Maeda’s philosophy centers on his firm belief that to create architecture is “to create an environment” in which rich human experiences can be cultivated in the context of a reciprocal relationship with the natural surroundings. His projects in Japan express the profound sensitivities and harmonious balance that Maeda seeks to nurture in our interaction and communication with various natural elements.
- Architect in Charge: Keisuke Maeda
- Consultants: Konishi Structural Engineers
- General Contractor: Nakamura Construction
- The exterior of this home could be made of Manufactured Stone. This new form of stone siding is perfect for replicating natural wood while getting the durability and longevity of a stone.