Sasayaki Matsu

Intersecting Planes Among the Whispering Pines of


Intersecting Planes Among the Whispering Pines of Niseko

Intersecting planes divide the main spaces of SASAYAKI MATSU, in Niseko, Japan. The living room space is split into two floors, to allow privacy for guests, with a staircase placed between the concrete wall and the timber screen that clads the lower floor.

Whispering Among the Pines of Northern Japan


This project is currently in the Design Development stage.

The Client for Sasayaki Matsu requested a house of similar design to that of Hibiki House. We reviewed the site, layout, and the Client’s brief and revised the design to suit. The fact that Niseko gets a large amount of snowfall was the main driving factor in the site orientation and building shape. The northerly winds from Mount Yotei dictated the angle of the roof so as not to allow snow to push upward against the accumulation on the inclined roof. Snow-shedding is the second factor in the placement of the down-slope of the roof. Several meters can accumulate and therefore the large volume of snow needs to be managed adjacent to the building.

Construction is to begin in 2024 after the snow season.

The Design

In Japanese, Sasayaki Matsu means “Whispering Pine” – a fitting name, chosen by the Client,  for this quiet and cozy retreat among the trees in Hokkaido. The exterior is intended to be Shou Sugi Ban timber, with the balcony area accented with natural finish timber. The material choice is aligned with the Client’s theme and tie it back to the local natural surroundings.

The second-floor living room is focused on a fireplace with a hearth leading up to a feature wall made of CNC-milled plywood. CNC-milled panels line the walls that will be prone to damage over the years.

The home consists of 2 living rooms, a kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a snow room, a garage, and a storage loft. The exterior balcony is intended to be used for outdoor grilling and hosting guests by extending the L2 living room to the exterior.

  • Area:

    205m² (2,200 sqft)

  • Materials:

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

  • Construction to Begin:

    April 2024

  • Scope:

    Design Architect

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