In the lush green mountainsides of Kaga, Japan, a private home is blending with its surroundings.

‘The foundational concept of the plan should reflect climate, culture, historical context and, most of all, modernity,’ says architect Hidenari Arai of AE5 Partners. ‘We felt this approach was not only necessary, but the most natural for the residents and townspeople.’

The house is modeled after a ‘kura,’ or traditional Japanese small house that can be seen in most towns throughout the country. Typically featuring small, aesthetic proportions, a kura fills the space between houses and blocks the eyes of prying neighbours.

The house’s main feature is its geometric structure and timber lover screen façade that ensures privacy. The home owners wanted only a few open doors to further emphasize privacy.

‘The lights coming from the open windows or wooden louvers change seasonally and, according to the time of day, produce a rich tapestry of color,’ Arai says. ‘On the other hand, the lights of the open windows add small flares of color and warmth to evenings wrapped in silence or seasons covered in snow.’