Takahiro Moriya’s Setoyama villa is oriented to create a living room with a view

Located on the edge of a cliff, the home by Moriya and Partners in Japan is enveloped in a three-dimensional wooden truss with a landscape design that respects its natural environment.

by Devanshi ShahPublished on : Jan 15, 2022

Setoyama is a villa located along a long narrow plot along a cliff that leads to the river bed and overlooks the sea, in Shizuoka, Japan. This particular site consists of a thicket of trees on a hard volcanic plateau that was created by a 4,000-year-old eruption. Largely untouched, this ecosystem is a stable natural territory, which led to Japanese architect Takahiro Moriya's, named partner at Moriya and Partners, minimally intrusive intervention. This was underscored in the project statement that emphasised, “We sought to create a place where nature and function harmonise well. So, we try to avoid modifying the land itself or touching the boundaries of the forest. While building a certain distance from the natural territory, the villa lightly blends into the surrounding environment so that it would be buried in the forest.”

External view of Setoyama Villa | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
External view of Setoyama Villa Image: Gen Inoue

Creating a balance between nature and purpose, Moriya avoids modifying the land itself by building a certain distance from the natural territory and not touching the boundaries of the surrounding forest. From a distance, the villa appears to be buried in the forest because of its location and roofscape. At the same time, the villa opens up to the surrounding environment through terraces so that it blends the exteriority and interiority of the space. The environmental consciousness of the sustainable architecture.

  • Site plan | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    Site plan Image: Courtesy of Moriya and Partners
  • Upper and lower floor plans | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    Upper and lower floor plans Image: Courtesy of Moriya and Partners
  • Cross section | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    Cross section Image: Courtesy of Moriya and Partners
  • Longitudinal section | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    Longitudinal section Image: Courtesy of Moriya and Partners

The orientation of the plot offers a dynamic setting for the villa. With a river on the east and an access road on the west, the plot extends longitudinally from north to south. With access from its northernmost edge, a meandering pathway leads to the main house, which is situated approximately at the midpoint of this site. Designed as a triangular outline of the residential home, it sits in a very precocious location with its longer edge abutting the main road, the tip of the triangle hanging over a shallow cliff that slopes down towards the riverbed. The western edge of the house is largely solid and consists of utilities, such as storage, pantry and kitchen as well as a powder room and bathroom. This edge could also be considered as the hypotenuse of the triangular plan. The rest of the house projects out at a right angle with two facades facing South-East and North-East. In addition to creating the opportunity for numerous vistas looking out at the river, the plan also provides an opportunity for its occupants to experience the sunrise over the view of the river.

  • Structural axonometric  | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    Structural axonometric Image: Courtesy of Moriya and Partners
  • External view of the roofscape | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    External view of the roofscape Image: Gen Inoue

This addresses the client’s request for “a view of the sea from the living room". To frame the seascape as a view seen through the trees, the main living room is lifted off the ground and is projected over the cliffside. Since the building sits on a steep slope, the studio enveloped the entire living room floor under a wooden framed truss. This three-dimensional truss allows the upper floor to be completely cantilevered and creates a lower covered deck adjacent to the bedroom. This timber frame facilitates the vision of a buried villa through its external profile. Internally it creates a remarkable volume that constantly changes as one travels the length of the structure. The overall design of the house is rather simple but very intricately organised. To gain a more holistic understanding of the entire structure it needs to be looked at not only in plan and section but also as an axonometric study of its structural system.

  • View of the Dining space | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    View of the Dining space Image: Gen Inoue
  • View of the living room | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
    View of the living room Image: Gen Inoue

The plan is organised along a right-angled triangle across two floors, both of which seem to be at ground level. The upper floor is on the ground level towards the western side of the site, with the living room and terrace. The lower level, which consists of a bedroom and another terrace space, is also on the ground level opening on the eastern side overlooking the river. The downstairs space is also designed to function as an environmental device to redirect the cool wind blowing from the river towards the upper floor. The design also proposes a wide variety of outdoor spaces; the landscape architecture makes use of the existing forest and the existing slope to create a park-like ambience.

View of the cantilever | Setoyama | Takahiro Moriya | STIRworld
View of the cantilever Image: Gen Inoue

Project Details

Name: Setoyama
Location: Shizuoka, Japan
Area: 101 square meters
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Takahiro Moriya
Structural engineer: A.S.Associates Akira Suzuki
Contractor: Daido Kogyo Co.
Producer: archibuilders

Comments

Comments Added Successfully!

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
3343,3382,3437,3292,3390

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE