This is the story of a wonderful house hidden in a forest. It’s located in Rankoshi, Japan and was designed and built by studio Florian Busch Architects in 2020. It sits in a clearing and it’s close to a ski area which makes this a prime location for a vacation home.
The owners didn’t want it to be middle of the action but rather to be a place where they can enjoy the solitude of the forest and where they can become immersed in nature. They chose to have the house positioned not at the center of the clearing but rather close to the edge so the trees can guard and protect it.
The house extends horizontally and all the areas are organized on only one floor. It branches out quite in a literal way. If you look at it from above it has an organic and branch-like shape with volumes that face different directions and expand from the central area. Each so-called branch is open at the end, with a large panorama window that provides a perfect view. This unusual layout allows all the interior spaces to be distributed into different sections.
That way the inhabitants can enjoy each other’s company if they wish to but they can also retire into different areas of the house and be by themselves. Furthermore, they all feel connected to the forest no matter where they are.
A small rural road is the only access point onto the site. As one approaches the area, a mound prevents views of the house and needs to be climbed in order to reveal this magical place. Tall pine trees surround the site and add depth to its design. You only get a full view of the house once you get close to it. This adds mystery to this place creates a very immersive experience.