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Alba is a design exercise in function, efficiency, and soulfulness. With a vision geared towards its role as a winter holiday rental, it was paramount that this element of functionality be married with beauty and grace. Nestled amidst the enchanting Hokkaido forest, where one gazes upon the majestic snowy peaks, our architecture beckons an enduring kinship with its natural surroundings. This is accomplished through a reinterpretation of a quintessential Japanese facet - the Engawa, a space that exists in the liminal realm, neither entirely inside nor completely out, and yet beautifully both. The result is a gracefully floating concrete deck and eaves that extend outward, enfolding the entirety of the structure in their protective embrace. This design not only shields the glazed facade from the gentle descent of snowflakes but also allows the low winter sun to touch the oak floor during the frigid months. Simultaneously, it holds at bay the rays of summer, yet it permits the concrete deck to absorb the warmth of the day, offering comfort during the Hokkaido evenings. Amidst the resounding echoes of modernism and postmodernism that champion the virtues of minimalism and simplicity in the realm of architecture, this humble forest retreat whispers to craftsmanship, materiality, and the interplay of colors and shades. We turn away from the notion that "less is more," venturing to revive an architecture where less is not merely more; it is an expression of all the elements that constitute the narrative of architecture.



Japan, Hokkaido


Structure: M.Nomura

Contractor: Heisei


Design: Luca Marulli

              S.Yuya, T.Miura

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