Griffin House

Timber-Clad, Folded Planes in the Woods of


Folded Origami Planes

The floor plan for GRIFFIN HOUSE was inherited and revised slightly to achieve
certain requirements for the functionality of the layout. Given these constraints
STE-AD proposed a concept of folded planes, similar to origami, to achieve
the desired aesthetic.

Folded Planes Propped Up By Shou Sugi Ban Inclined Walls


With Griffin House the client came to us with a layout they wanted to incorporate into the Design of their home in Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan. Some adjustments were made to improve the layout and the concept design of the exterior and main spaces of the interior was developed from this. The site lies adjacent to one of the Yuki No Taki dwellings also designed by STE-AD.


The living spaces are arranged to focus on views toward Mount Yotei to the Southeast.

Construction is to begin in 2023 after the snow season.

The Design

The layout that was provided by the client was in the shape of two squares, rotated 45 degrees, and overlapped at one corner by a few meters. The plans were modified slightly by STE-AD to make improvements to the geometry and layout. At the center of the overlapped squares is a staircase rising from the basement up to L0 and L1, creating an open atrium at the core of the house.

The timber-clad ceiling planes are folded like an origami crane, or airplane, and is propped up by two inclined walls, clad with Shou Sugi Ban.

Between these inclined feature walls lies the main entrance on the ground floor where a snow room, two ensuite bedrooms, and a utility room are located. The entrance contains a foyer with Japanese Garden and a staircase leading up to the L1 living space with a balcony, flanked by the dining room, living room, and master bedroom. A bridge connected to an existing structure allows for easy passage during heavy snow without having to go outside.

A full basement may be accessed from the central staircase or directly from the exterior via a second staircase with an exterior door.

  • Area:

    270m² (2,900 sqft)

  • Materials:

    Black Locust / Robinia Exterior Grade Timber, Shou Sugi Ban, Fair-Faced Concrete

  • Construction Planned:


  • Scope:

    Design Architect

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