GSD team celebrates the opening of Retreat in Nature Horizon House in Japan

The Horizon House project developed by a team of GSD students came to fruition, and part of the team traveled to Taiki-cho, Japan for the opening event last month. The project began earlier this year as the result of the 3rd LIXIL International University Architectural Competition, held publicly on April 20, 2013 in Tokyo. The students worked on the house during the spring semester as part of an Independent Study, advised by GSD professors Mark Mulligan and Kiel Moe, and the team includes Carlos Cerezo Davila (MDesS ‘13), Ana Garcia Puyol (MDesS ‘14), Thomas Sherman (MDesS ‘14), Robert Daurio (MArch II ‘13), Mariano Gomez (MArch II ‘13), Takuya Iwamura (MLA ‘14), Natsuma Imai (MArch I ‘15) and Matthew Conway (MArch I ‘15).

Horizon House presents a dialogue between private living space and the rural setting of Taiki-cho, Hokkaido. Conceived as a horizontally continuous interior landscape – an interstitial space between two artificial constructs, floor and roof – the house provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings.  Taiki-cho experiences seasonal patterns in the natural ground plane due to heavy snowfall and changes in vegetation. To avoid partial burial in winter months and maintain distant landscape views, the living space is raised on a wooden base one meter above the ground, and nature is on display from each room. 

Five of the team members spent part of the summer in Tokyo developing the construction documents in collaboration with Kengo Kuma’s architectural office. The whole project has been completed in 10 months, and during the opening weekend the students who were able to travel to Taiki-cho participated in a ceremony and a discussion surrounding the topic for next year’s competition. Learn more about the project by visiting the GSD Horizon House Facebook page.


Image – From left to right: jury member Tomonari Yashiro (Deputy Director and Professor at the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo), MDesS candidate Thomas Sherman, advisor Mark Mulligan (Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design), jury member Kengo Kuma (Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, The University of Tokyo), MDesS canditate Ana Garcia Puyol, MDesS alumn Carlos Cerezo Davila, jury member Darko Radovi (Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Keio University).