House facing the sea

2018.06 / Delivered
Private customer / Client
Aomori, Japan / Location
Masato Takahashi, Manabu Noro / Cooperation

Hideki Makiguchi / Photographer






In Hashikami-cho, the southeastern part of Aomori located on the prefectural border with Iwate, this wooden house was designed for a couple in their sixties and their eldest daughter, who spends the summer with them every year. This was MMA’s first residential project.

Unlike interior projects, architectural projects require a deep examination of an allocated parcel of land and must be planned from scratch, which is a great pleasure for many architects.The owner, who purchased a sloped parcel of richly forested land for its great ocean view, requested “a house where we can see the sea from the living room.” One long horizontal window faces the sea, and through randomly placed windows on the other side, people can catch a glimpse of the forest. The house has a simple layout, with rooms on both sides of the corridor that runs through the middle of the house. Inside this low, horizontal house, which resembles a chimney lying down on the ground, the warm air from the fireplace travels to all the rooms evenly.

for materials, cedar from Aomori is used for the outer walls, and metal plate, a material commonly used in farm houses in Aomori, is used for the roof. The outer walls are painted black, and their color will turn to green and harmonize with the surroundings over the course of about ten years. The silver-colored roof reflects the sky: blue when it is sunny and dark when it is cloudy, so the roof dissolves into the nature.At the entryway, round trunk columns are used, strongly suggesting a mountain hut.

On the other hand, the sharp angle of the roof and the thinness of the metal plate used as roofing add a modern essence to the house. The cedar used in the outer walls is cut into fine pieces, carefully polished, and precisely placed. Carefully balanced, these features manage to refrain from evoking idyllic impressions.

Though wooden houses tend to have a stout appearance, having taken small details into consideration, it was possible to build a modern mountain cottage in this project.

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