Japanese firm Roote creatively made the most of a challenging sloped site in their design for the timber-clad N House in Fukuoka, Japan. Covering an elevation change of four meters, the triangular plot of land tapers from a width of 16 meters to just 4.5 meters. Roote mitigated the difficult terrain by building two intersecting volumes that still offered enough room for a spacious outdoor garden.
From the outside, the four-person family N House appears to comprise two separate structures: a low-lying, single-story volume adjacent to the street and a second building that sharply angles upwards to incorporate a second story. Roote further differentiated the structures by cladding the smaller volume in horizontally oriented timber, while covering the large volume with vertical planks. However, the two volumes are interconnected.
The N House is accessed from the street through a recessed door that leads into the single-story and open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining room. In contrast to the dark timber facade, the interior is bright and airy with white walls; light and warm-toned wood surfaces; and large glazed openings. Despite the contemporary aesthetic, traditional Japanese elements are still included, such as the tatami room with sliding shōji doors.
Natural light spills into the combined kitchen and dining room through full-height sliding glass doors that open up to the secluded, walled-in outdoor patio and garden. A children’s play space is tucked underground beneath the living areas in the eastern volume. The master bedroom and small study are located on the second story on the west side.
Images via Roote