In the Japanese city of Uonuma, in the province of Niigata, all the houses are built following the same structure, to adapt in the best possible way to the cold climate in winter, with heavy snowfall, and heat in summer: the ground floor is intended for the garages and the first floor is built always above them, the pitched roofs are designed to facilitate the melting of snow and, finally, the walls are thicker than normal, to increase the level of insulation.
Takeru Shoji Architects has succeeded in creating a home that does not have these three characteristics and, on the contrary, facilitates contact between the exterior and interior. The M House is built on higher than usual foundations, so as to isolate it from the ground, but without having the first floor raised as much as the other houses. The use of insulating and water-repellent materials has made it possible to greatly reduce the thickness of the walls, which in winter are covered halfway up by the snow that prevents the warm interior from coming out and, in summer, they keep the environment cool.
Another fundamental characteristic of the M House is the large window that is almost as large as the surface of an entire side of the house, creating a dialogue between inside and outside, an element that is missing in all the other surrounding houses.
The interiors also differ from the rest of the town, with an abundant use of wood and a division of spaces that takes place in height through a loft, which houses the bathroom and the bedroom, reached through a raised walkway that also serves as a study and overlooks on one side outside and on the other the huge living room of the lower floor.