This original Japanese holiday retreat is located at the base of Mount Bandai in Fukushima, Japan. Dubbed “One Year Project,” the residence was designed by studio Life Style Koubou with sustainability in mind.

The main material used in the construction is wood, which was harvested from the site. To balance deforestation, trees were planted on the property once the house was completed. The unusual structure is based on a series of stilts. These white columns allow heavy snow to gather below and around the building during harsh winters.

The house is composed of two structures, connected by an outdoor bridge. One of the dwellings accommodates the living spaces and bedrooms and is also known by the inhabitants as the “dry” area. The other (referred to as the “wet” building) hosts the kitchen and bathroom.

The living spaces pay tribute to minimalism and the possibility of contemplating nature. Large window-walls give the feeling of an open tree house. Extensive use of cedar and a fireplace in the center set the tone for a welcoming refuge. Photograph courtesy of Life Style Koubou.

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