gui house

The project site is located in the Izumo Plain made of sands carried by the Hii River, leading to Lake Shinji, and the Kobe River, leading to the Sea of Japan, in Izumo City of Shimane prefecture. It is known as a rice‐producing district in Shimane prefecture characterized by its Tsujimatsu windbreak forests, where open plains are uncommon. The northwest boundary of the site of 330 square meters is lined by trees of the Juniperus genus and a countryside view extends out opposite the street.

The client is a couple in their thirties. Since it is a small house with a total area of about 20 tsubo (66 square meters), the minimum necessary function is laid out in one-story structure. The living room window, raised 90 cm above the ground level to protect the privacy from the street, frames the view of the pastoral scenery and the client's large oval table fits well without feeling crowded.  

There is an appropriate distance between the living room and the bedroom, with the bedroom's floor being lowered, and there is a view to sunflowers through the window beyond which were planted for the soil improvement by the client. When one descends down to the bedroom, the private garden approaches, the living room window starts to frame only the sky, and the secured feeling is provided as if you are in a comfortable cellar. The furniture to divide two areas provides storage areas for daily use and the hidden doors in the furniture inside leads to storage under the living and dining floors. The storage area provided is abundant though the house is very compact in scale. The house is close to the clients’ work and to the clients’ parents’ house. They can enjoy gardening in the big yard, surrounded by beautiful pastoral scene. Occasional dinner visits from parents and friends are framed in a sunset view. This architecture realizes an ideal of compact, countryside living.

Shoko Murakaji, Naoto Murakaji / harunatsu-arch
Translated from the Japanese by Rina Chinen

Location Izumo,Shimane-Prefecture
Type of use Residential
Size single storey
Building area 69.72square meters 
Total floor space 68.74square meters 
Construction Wooden construction
Structure Engineer Tatsumi Terado Structural Studio
Constractor Ishikawa builders/Shinya Ishikawa
Year of construction 2014
Photo Kai Nakamura