Glass-fronted gallery and house for a florist by Shinichi Ogawa

Elongated gallery and house by Shinichi Ogawa creates a forest home for a florist

Japanese firm Shinichi Ogawa & Associates added a glazed wall to the elongated facade of this house and gallery in Japan's Mie prefecture so the florist who owns it can look out into the forest (+ slideshow).

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The S Gallery and Residence is located close to the Suzuka mountain range in a heavily forested region, so architect Shinichi Ogawa sought to make the most of the natural surroundings to complement the client's work.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

A glazed wall runs along the 18-metre-wide facade and continues around the two ends to provide uninterrupted views of the natural landscape from the gallery space located behind it.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

"The frameless glass makes this a special open space that is completely invaded by the exterior nature," said Shinichi Ogawa & Associates, whose past projects include another long narrow house in Okinawa.

"Thus, the gallery becomes a true stage for the client, while the exterior green landscape transforms into a perfect background setting."

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The glass is sandwiched between by a 22-metre-long floor slab and roof that project out at the front to form a sheltered terrace.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The reinforced concrete roof cantilevers from a steel framework, enclosing a corridor at the rear of the building, to ensure the gallery interior is free of any columns that might obstruct the view.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

An identical lime mortar finish was used for the terrace and the main flooring inside the gallery to enhance the visual link between the indoor and outdoor spaces, while a wooden section embedded in the floor demarcates a dedicated display area.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The horizontal planes of the floor plate and roof meet a wall at the rear of the building that gives it a C-shaped section when viewed from the nearby access road.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The building appears to balance on the edge of its sloping site but is, in fact, anchored by a basement level submerged in the hillside.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Seven enormous slabs of rock excavated during the construction process form a stairway that leads from the road to an entrance in the glazed end wall.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

At the back of the building, a narrow corridor contains a cantilevered counter that runs along its full length and incorporates a washbasin for a WC concealed at one end.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The counter can be used as a workspace, while glass shelves on the opposite wall provide space for the owner's collection of art and crafts.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

At the far end of the corridor, the counter projects over a staircase that descends to the basement level and is illuminated by a glazed opening in the ceiling.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Below ground, a minimal living area with a low wooden table at its centre receives natural light from a narrow submerged courtyard located behind the rear wall.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

The kitchen is tucked into a space next to the stairs and a bedroom, bathroom and walk-in closet are accommodated at the opposite end of the subterranean space.

Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates

Photography is by the architects.

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Site plan
Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
First floor plan – click for larger image
Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Sections one and two – click for larger image
Florist Studio by Shinichi Ogawa & Associates
Sections three and four – click for larger images