Windows at Kouichi Kimura's Scape House create a hierarchy of views

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Kouichi Kimura's Scape House uses a variety of windows to create a hierarchy of views

A collection of differently sized cuboids make up the volume of this family house in Shiga, Japan, designed by architect Kouichi Kimura to offer "versatile spaces" with "light and scenery" (+ slideshow).

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Kouichi Kimura, founder of Japanese studio FORM, developed the residence for a hilltop neighbourhood overlooking a lake, so he wanted the interiors to frame curated views of the scenic surroundings.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

"The customer requested that the view be fully utilised and that the space be opened, while not being bothered by the eyes of the neighbourhood," said the architect, whose past projects include a house that is just 2.7 metres wide.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Rather than adding too much glazing, Kimura was keen to use both small and large windows to create a hierarchy of views, providing spaces with different lighting conditions.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

"Scenery viewed through a window is greatly affected by the size or position of the window," he explained. "It is therefore essential to consider what should and shouldn't be viewed in the scenery framed by the window, instead of being stereotyped to [always] take in a large area."

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Windows on both floors of the two-storey residence, known as Scape House S, are framed by a variety of built-in furniture elements that create seating areas, shelving and tables.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Not all of the windows create views between inside and outside – one offers a glimpse from the ground-floor corridor into a home office, while a low-level window frames a view into the children's bedroom.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

A staircase winds up through the centre of the residence to lead up to the first floor, where the majority of the living spaces are located. It also acts as a partition, separating a living area, dining space and compact kitchen.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Wall, ceiling and floors throughout the house present an assortment of finishes, including polished concrete, ceramic tiles, wooden panels, and plastered surfaces painted in shades of white and grey.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

A small study sits at the rear of the dining area. A balcony wraps around it, creating a non-rectilinear space from which residents can survey their surroundings.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Large storage closets can be found on both levels, while the clients' master bedroom occupies a square space on the ground floor.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Externally, the building is clad in corrugated metal and is raised up on a concrete base. A long narrow window is positioned on the centre of the facade.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

"The dynamic configuration with the box-shape volumes and rhythmical layout of the windows produces beautiful life scenes where light and scenery are taken in," added Kimura.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects

Photography is by Yoshihiro Asada.

Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
First floor plan – click for larger image
Scape House by FORM/Kouichi Kimura Architects
Section – click for larger image