Yuki House

(Yuki House)

Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan

Decibel Architecture



Located at the base of Mount Yotei, on Hokkaido Island in Japan, Yuki House is a compelling new residence which looks to the functionality and design of traditional Japanese architecture. Adherence to the golden ratio and Tatami, a traditional Japanese straw mat, create the foundation from which the design of the Yuki House is established.


(Golden Ratio)

Two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. This fundamental principle is embedded in many natural biological geometries. Decibel Architecture have sought to bring symmetry, balance and harmony to our

spaces individually, and in combination, that looks firstly to the tatami order, and secondly to the proportional order of the Golden Mean. No space is able to be a perfect ratio of golden mean, but all spaces are based on the rigor and order of the Tatami.


Central to Decibel Architecture’s proposal is tatami, a traditional Japanese floor mat. The term tatami is derived from the verb tatamu, meaning to fold or pile. Tatami vary in size depending on region within Japan. Decibel used the traditional (Nagoya) tatami size, which measures 1818mm x 909mm.

All floors and walls within the Yuki House are measured using the tatami method. This is common practice within Japanese architecture, where culturally it is believed that not abiding by tatami to dictate room size will result in bad fortune.

(Proposed Section)

(Lower Floor Plan)


(Rear Exterior View)

(Ground Floor Plan)

(Traditional Japanese Wood Joinery)

In addition to utilising the tatami measurement, Decibel Architecture researched traditional Japanese wood joinery, also a fundamental element in traditional Japanese housing.

Building up from the concrete ground floor, there is potential to utilise timber in conjunction with computer modeling and 6 axis CNC machining on the upper levels. This would mean the first floor and roof would be designed as

resilient, timber structures, utitlising the latest in engineered timber products, and designed for earthquake and fire resistance.

This would create a legacy home, based on the Japanese Tatami, and a contemporary interpretation and utilization of detailing proven over thousands of years.

(Interior Views)

(Upper Floor Plan)