In the enchanting northwest region of Japan lies the Hokuriku Residence by Chidori Studio, a place known for its heavy rain and snowfall.
Here, amidst the historical connections and natural beauty of the area, this architectural experiment has emerged, exploring the possibilities of design. These unique homes aim to create outdoor spaces suitable for rain and snow, utilize colors suited for cloudy weather, and effectively harness daylight during the winter months.
This particular private residence, situated next to the Important Preservation District for Traditional Buildings, pays homage to the region's rich heritage. Surrounded by old townhouses and majestic garden trees, it also accommodates an architecture office, harmoniously blending personal and professional spaces.
The architects faced a creative challenge with the site's unusual L-shape. Ingeniously, they designed the building along the road in a single volume, leaving a spacious garden at the rear to provide ample light to the neighboring house. At the intersection corner of the site, a Doma—a traditional space for daylight and ventilation—along with a front yard, welcomes visitors. On the opposite side, a Sedo—a space traditionally used for snow removal and laundry—paired with a back yard completes the residence, seamlessly connecting different functions.
The Doma, situated along the road, offers transparency and serves as an extension of public space. Its full opening invites natural light and creates a sense of openness that merges the residence with its surroundings. On the other side, the Sedo features a grand entrance with a slit opening and an outdoor curtain, establishing a continuous flow between the residence and the backyard.
One of the most captivating features of the residence is the large windows along the road-facing elevation. These windows not only allow an abundance of daylight and solar heat during winter but also bridge the gap between the interior and the outside world. The building's facade unifies the structure as a single entity, transcending functional divisions and providing a grand window to the town. This integrated space encourages various activities, from work to social gatherings.