Welcome to our gallery featuring the Horizontal House, a striking example of modern minimalism in Shiga, Japan. The home was designed by Eastern Design Office.
The views in and around the Horizontal House vary wildly, despite the initial, monolithic appearance. The defining feature are the lengthy horizontal slits running the length of the public facing exterior of the building.
Through these, the residents can take in a breathtaking expanse of the surrounding village and mountainous forest. The slit emphasizes the viewed scenery with a firmly condensed opening. The home itself appears unlike any normal house when seen from the outside.
From the village, it appears as a nearly continuous stone wall. Yet the spacious and warm interior pairs with the wide angle slits to grant an expansive, enveloping sense of place.
We hope you enjoy this breathtaking and unique piece of architecture as much as we do.
All photography by Koichi Torimura.
Exterior view of concrete home and exterior staircase from upper deck to lower veranda.
The home itself extends upwards from the retaining wall, almost seamlessly. The interior’s true nature is concealed behind this monolithic facade.
From close up, the slits reveal their window nature, with reflective glass granting privacy to the interior.
The main entrance is approached via this rectangular path over a rock garden. Windows on this side of the home are full sized.
Seen at night, the interior glows brightly across the secluded patio space.
Lower view of the “slit side” of the home, highlighting the retaining wall upon which the home rests. The exterior shape mirrors the village itself.
From further into the village, we see the broad, singular structure of the home rising above its surroundings. With the forest behind, the home appears like a wall.
Overlooking the private patio area, we see the layers of walls and ramps providing egress while retaining privacy.
Coming up the stairway entrance from street level, we see the garden at left, with folded layers of concrete at right obscuring the home.
This view is from the center of the V structure of the home, with mirrored hardwood hallways reaching toward each end. Floor to ceiling glass on this side of the home illuminates throughout, with spectacular views facing toward the mountains.
Main wraparound hallway holds expansive views through the slit windows, curving through the structure on every side.
Interior view through partially obscured wood window frames toward the private patio space. Rock garden and main pathway are seen.
Interior rooms feature mat flooring, white walls, and natural wood accents throughout, including high shelf above slit window on right.
Sliding natural wood panels separate each room, while paper-shaded windows at left open to reveal the inner courtyard patio.
Down the length of the home, we see more of the sliding wood panels separating rooms, with slit windows on exterior facing walls and floor to ceiling glass facing the interior space.
Living room features contemporary grey sofas wrapping around a large glass coffee table over circular orange area rug. Hardwood flooring continues throughout, with slit windows running the length of the home on exterior wall at left.
The very edge of the V corner of the home is seen here, where the lower slit windows end before curing into the private patio space.
From above the retaining wall, we see the concrete facade and slit windows heavily obscured. The uniform expanse of grey hides the warm natural tones within.
Looking over the patio at dawn, we see the majestic expanse of forested mountains towering over the village.
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