Type:House/Location:Matsumoto,Nagano,Japan/Design:2014-15/Construction:2015/Consultant:Low Fat Structure,hondaGREEN/Structure:Timber/Contractor:Takeigumi/Site area:230m2/Built area:86m2/Total floor area:106m2




Pettanco house is located in Matsumoto, Nagano, deep in the region referred to as the Japanese Alps. Surrounded by mountains the town is enriched by many rivers running through it. This site faces a river to its south and two roads to its west and north sides.

Since the Edo period the town of Matsumoto is known for the wood craftsmanship and the client was also a wood craftsman. He wanted his home to be readily convertible to a gallery to exhibit the furniture crafted by him. Since we were also asked to use the local Japanese larch for the structural frame, exterior walls and floor and keep the cost to meet the efficient budget while securing enough space, we conceived of a simple one-story design. We used the Japanese module system of ken (1ken=1.82m) and the plan is 4ken x 6ken. The ground floor level stands on the level that is lower than the top of the foundation. We have done so in order to set the height from the ground floor level to the beam approximately 4 metres, that allowed us to use only a single common commercial timber. This was the way to construct a single-story house and thus has made it inexpensive. For the roof, we adopted the gable roof and set the slope along the 6 ken side. The first floor was created in the middle of the house in the space created by the gable roof structure. There are two entrances. One on the west-gabled side is for the family use and the other on the south side is for the gallery visitors. Just as the adjacent river flows from the south to the north, the scene inside the house flows from the public space to the private zone in the same direction. The sunlight and air come into the house from the roof dormer. The wood burning stove warms the entire house through the void and transom windows of the private rooms. * “Pettanco” means “Squashed” in Japanese. A name was given by the client’s daughter.