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Void in a Forest

YDS Architects

Project Name

Void in a Forest

Project Status


Year Completed



13,000 sq. feet



  • Yoshitaka UCHINO
  • Mana Muraki


  • Structural Engineer: City Structure Engineering Japan



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Project Description

This is a 5-story residential building in the site next to a big park. The main concept is to take in the beautiful nature around the site. We considered a new collective form with natural public spaces while dealing with the strict regulations of scenic districts. I placed a court and softly articulated it from the trees nearby by louvers. This court functions as an agora for residents. Stairs placed in the court functions as a three-dimensional street. Overlapping the street over the court,our aim is to invoke communication in the open air space between the residents.

Light and wind come from the court which is paved with natural slates. These light would express transitional beauty. A satisfactory habitability can be expected by these light and wind. Corridors in every floors face the court,so the space of the corridor is always full of natural light. The doors to the stairs in the court are next the elevators,so when you go out from your unit in the daytime you can feel natural light ahead of you,at night you can see the light from the court.These light expresses the direction to go,and you can always feel nature.

Among the units, only two of them face the court, so these two units are like detached houses which means ‘a house within a house’.Usually when you appoarch the unit, you reach the unit via corridors. In these two units, you reach the units via the court,so you need to go outside after entering the entrance hall. This might be irrational in housing,houwever I think living in these units, you could get the nature which is mostly lost in our everyday life. It might be said the housing becomes the city itself, and the court play a role of a park.

The entrance hall connects with the court and the city through glasses. This hall is a node between the housing and the city. Through the glasses of the hall,the court relates to the city.
Bay windows in each units are architectural devices by which residents are able to see the trees in the court the park. To make this bay windows distinctive in the façade,the sashes of the windows are simple squared sash and make them flushness with the exposed concrete volume.

This was an attempt to create an environment where living spaces smoothly expand from every units to the public spaces by introducing public places of the city into the housing and mingling them with the nearby nature.
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