훗카이도는 겨울의 강설로 유명하다. 이러한 눈이 거주자에게 큰 문제가 될 수도 있다. 이를 대비하기 위해 주택의 작은 지붕에는 눈으로부터 보호받기 위해 돌출부를 거의 갖지 않았다. 큰 지붕은 그 아래 사용할 공간을 극대화 한다. 눈덮인 땅에서의 생활은 건물 면적을 줄이기 보단 그로부터 멀리 떨어지게 하는 것으로 개선될 수 있다.
Jun Igarashi Architects found a work-around in Japanese building code to create this house on Hokkaido's southwest coast, which features a larger than average roof to protect a pair of patios from snowfall.
Winters in Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, are renowned for their snowfall. Snow-sports enthusiasts from around the world flock to experience the waist-deep powder that typically blankets the mountains, blown in on winds from Siberia crossing the Sea of Japan. But for residents, the snow can pose a problem.
"Snowfall gives various restrictions to our life," explained Hokkaido-based architect Jun Igarashi, who designed the home named Roof and Rectangular House for a client in the port city of Tomakomai.
"The most serious of them is cleaning snow. Houses are often built mainly in residential areas. That means that the building coverage ratio is low. Therefore, the size of the roof becomes smaller."
Building-coverage ratio rules in Japan stipulate that the footprint of the building has to be proportional to the size of the land it sits upon.
Igarishi thinks that these building codes should be abolished as small roofs leave little overhang to protect outdoor areas from snow.
"Life in snowy land is dramatically improved by doing away with rather than easing of the building coverage ratio," he said.
To demonstrate his theory, he worked with the current restrictions to create a home that is both practical in a snowy climate but enjoyable to live in.
The large roof maximises the built upon space available under the building-coverage ratio, with a smaller, compact one-room dwelling space below it. This timber-framed structure is clad in a combination of weatherboards and corrugated metal sheets.