blog: design, place, people

Explore Niseko and beyond with us. [Photos © Sanctuary Niseko unless stated otherwise]

Independent Exploration

From the architect; Inspired by my Mother’s recent move to Niseko, a resort in Japan that attracts many skiers during the winter. In this type of climate, the building must function during varying seasonal environments. During the winter, you get snow levels that would enclose a typical house.

A typical residence will also waste a lot of energy heating and cooling noccupied spaces. The Hover House is designed to control the different thermal zones within the building. These zones make up the core of the building and are controlled by sliding doors, similar to traditional Shoji screens. The circulation wraps around the periphery of these zones to conserve energy that is typically wasted on transitional spaces like circulation. During summer nights this space can also be used to flush the hot air out of the shell of the building without disturbing the interior zones. There is no need to waste energy to heat or cool the entire house, especially in a residence where the number of occupants will often vary.

The adaptive nature of this building not only conserves valuable energy, but also allows for flexible control over spaces, views, and privacy.

Finally, the over-sized cantilever can be opened up to the sky; exposing the bath to the outdoors while maintaining a level of privacy. This, again, was inspired by the Japanese Roten-buro, or exterior bath - Makoto Shibuya