Airhouse Design Office creates a hierarchy of rooms inside this house
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Airhouse Design Office creates a hierarchy of rooms inside House in Ohno

The most private rooms of this house by Japanese studio Airhouse Design Office are concealed within massive columns, leaving the surrounding double-height space to become an area for socialising (+ slideshow).

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

Named House in Ohno, the two-storey residence is located amongst an orchard of persimmon trees –  known in Japan as kaki – within a residential area of Gifu Prefecture.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

Keiichi Kiriyama, the principal architect at Airhouse Design Office, planned an interior where private rooms such as bedrooms could be hidden in the corners and centre of the plan, allowing large expanses of glazing around the spaces in between.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

"As the landscape transforms with the changing of the kaki seasons, a generous living space is produced in the house nestled among the kaki trees," said the architect.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

The building has a simple rectilinear form, with a pyramid hip roof that sits on top like a large hat. The edges of the roof overhang the walls to offer some shelter from the rain, terminating at a seemingly paper-thin edge.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

Floor-to-ceiling glazing features on all three of the four elevations. There is also a large sheltered terrace at the front of the building that offers a transitional space between inside and outside.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

"As the client wanted wide open spaces with high ceilings, a structure composed of a large roof set on top of seven thick columns was used," said Kiriyama, whose past projects include a raw concrete apartment and a converted warehouse residence.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

"With this composition, only the sky and the kaki orchard are visible from the inside, giving the area an open feeling while the kaki trees provide a sense of privacy from the outside world, all of which makes for a relaxed atmosphere in the interior areas," he said.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

The seven columnar structures are dotted around the interior, differing in shape and size. Each one contains two storeys, and the upper levels can be accessed by using either a staircase or a ladder.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

The largest of the columns accommodates a traditional Japanese-style room at the bottom with a master bedroom on top.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

The two at the back of the house accommodate the family bathroom and a series of children's rooms, while the remaining four house a small study room, a pantry and other storage areas.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

The surrounding leftover space is divided up to create a living room, a dining area and a kitchen featuring clean white surfaces and plywood fittings.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

Wooden floors run throughout the space, complementing the pale grey-blue colour used for the walls and the translucent white curtain that separates the living area from the front terrace.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

Bare light bulbs hang low to illuminate the most frequently used areas. Other details include wooden shelves and cabinets that run around the corners of the walls.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office

Photography is by Toshiyuki Yano.

House in Ohno by Airhouse Design Office
Floor plans – click for larger image