Habuka mountain retreat | 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 small 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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