Uncommon building sites call for ingenious architecture solutions. The intricate MS House by  Yo Yamagata Architects is located in Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan, on a slope overlooking Mount Fuji. Its unusual character derives from the challenges imposed by the terrain, with only 30% of flat surface out of a total of  250 square meters available as living space. Moreover, the client disliked the idea of having a tall house, which dictated a low volume, mostly developed horizontally.

The wooden first floor is cantilevered with steel beams, resulting in a seemingly floating construction. Each viewing point reveals a different geometry; the building as a whole almost seems to disobey the laws of gravitation: “At first we dug soil to the halfway of the slope; this was for the basement floor which is constructed with concrete. The wooden floor is supported by the basement floor“, the architects explained. The project’s minimalist interiors are surprisingly warm, due to the abundance of wooden elements. Isn’t it inspiring to observe how the complexity of this family home goes beyond its construction challenges? [Photography: Forward Stroke / Koji Okumura]