Habuka mountain retreat by Satoshi Irei
This small house occupies a clearing in the forest near the Habuka ski area in the Japanese Alps. The wedge-shaped home was designed by architect Satoshi Irei to be used as a ski cabin. The Habuka mountain retreat is a modest dwelling but it is well-built and provides its occupants with warmth and shelter from the winter weather. It features an exposed timber-frame that was finely crafted by builder Mori no Koubou.
The house has one bedroom plus a loft in approximately 54.5 m2 (590 ft2) for the two levels combined. The front door, protected by a good-sized entry porch, leads to an entry foyer with plenty of space for leaving coats and boots to dry. It also serves as a workroom for the owners to tune up their skis. The entry leads on to the compact living and dining room with adjacent kitchen. At the far end is a short hallway providing access to the bedroom and bathroom. The roof of the house slopes up from the entry in a single plane, giving the living areas a high ceiling and making room for a loft over the bedroom and bathroom.
The interior is given warmth by all the exposed woodwork, including the timber-frame and custom built-in shelving units in both the living room and bedroom. The kitchen was likewise custom-built by the builder. The living room has a large view window that spans the width of the room, but sliding shoji screens and wood shutters offer a choice of privacy levels. The home is well-insulated and can be heated by a small wood stove.
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Photographs courtesy of Mori no Koubou.
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