Butterfly by UID Architects

Butterfly is a modern Japanese-style residence located in Japan, designed in 2019 by UID Architects.

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We have always thought about the relationships between architecture and the garden, searching for ways to enhance and extend these domains. We have also been focused on incorporating the free, undefined spatial quality of Japanese architecture into our designs by reinterpreting the idea of the eaves, canopy, and engawa (Japanese-style loggia). In this house, we are giving new thought to roofs and the spaces they create inside a natural environment.

The landscape surrounding the site is made up of traditional gable and hip roof houses. Therefore,we incorporated deep eaves that create shadows and a tiled roof that reflects the changing colors of the sky and designed a wooden maya (gable roof) that blends into the neighborhood while renewing the existing skyline. While the site is relatively large for a house,by dividing it into seven separate buildings instead of building a single large roof, we created a flowing floor plan and included numerous surfaces that connect with the external environment. Privacy, light, and ventilation are achieved through variances in the slope, height, and orientation of the roof, and the entire house is arranged to give a sense of cadence to the internal continuity The roof is shaped so that it gives off the impression that the three vertices of the rectangle are fixed,and the one remaining vertex has been picked up with a finger. These were connected in a row over the seven buildings and arranged across the entire site in a way that matches with the surrounding environment. Through the ridge-line drawn by the seven vertices,the house introduces a new skyline that blends into the surrounding cityscape while also expanding the interior and exterior spaces. This formation-an accumulation of gable roofs having different orientations-establishes roofs and floor plans below the roofs separately while also allowing various shifts to emerging in each of these areas, ultimately steering human behavior in multiple directions. We aimed to create an environment where residents are inspired to perceive new sensations through a sense of rhythm created by the vertical shifts that are difficult to recognize in the floor plan, and how it connects to the surrounding landscape.

Photography by Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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- by Matt Watts