L House Hokkaido

The L House in Niseko, Hokkaido is a private holiday getaway that blends prehistoric topography with impressive views of Mount Yotei and some very creative architectural solutions.

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L House Hokkaido window looking at snow

The steep slope of the building site made it too cost-prohibitive to excavate into the mountain itself, so Florian Busch Architects developed a different tactic: place the house among the trees.

L House Hokkaido window looking at snow

The building consists of two volumes, one stacked atop the other. Where the topography of the slope changes, the top volume of the house shifts to accommodate it and offer breathtaking views of the nearby mountain.

L House Hokkaido modern floating stairs

On the lower level, the entrance sits below the overhang of the top volume and a staircase at the back wall takes you upstairs. This gives the feeling that one is climbing the slope.

L House Hokkaido inside dark wood walls
L House Hokkaido dining and kitchen

The internal composition of the home is simple and elegant, featuring open spaces and plentiful windows that not only allow for natural lighting but also give unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape.

As you exit the spacious living/dining area through the exterior door, you are taken onto a terrace that rests on the roof of the lower volume of the home. An outdoor bath allows for luxurious moments, soaking as you take in the breathtaking environment.

L House Hokkaido transforming wall
L House Hokkaido transforming wall opens

An indoor bed and bath occupy the lower level, giving a drastically different view of the valley that lies beneath the majestic mountain.

“Where the topography shifted and slid vertically creating the escarpment with its stunning views, the L House is split and shifted horizontally, a simple gesture that opens up space and views as the building seems to move up the slope.”

L House Hokkaido concrete bathroom

“Like the building itself, the internal layout is kept in simplicity: Entering below the overhang of the upper volume, a staircase moves along the rear wall of the lower level to come out ‘rotated’ in the upper level, rendering the shift of the volumes visible as if one had climbed the slope towards Mount Yotei. The wide living and kitchen area extends onto a terrace (the roof of the lower volume) with an open air bath. The private sleeping and bathing areas are in the lower level which is just high enough to enjoy wide views of the valley lying under the escarpment and at the foot of Mount Yotei.”