When we speak of creating a home out of a house, settling down and establishing a family, we often refer to it as nesting. The lengths that birds go to in order to create safe and comfortable places for eggs to hatch and chicks to mature is an inspiration to us all. Japanese firm UID Architects has taken this concept to the next level with the Nest House.

The Nest House sits at the foot of a mountain in Onomichi City, Japan. The house is surrounded by forests and the designers took inspiration from them to create an intimate home for a mother and her two daughters. The house feels like a burrow made in the forest floor by a family of critters and aims to become part of rather than dominate the nature around it. The Nest House is a wooden shell that is extensively punched with glazed holes that let in not only light but also the forests and sky. Upon entering from the ground floor, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you just passed through a wall to a different forest. The entrance is filled with plants that reach up through the height of the building. Living takes place on two levels that are connected visually by large cutouts and staircases. The space lacks clear demarcation allowing it to be used organically, much like the forest that it emulates.

Nest House is such a departure from traditional house that it came be difficult to define it. Rather than separating itself from nature, Nest House brings it right into the heart of the home, creating a space that can literally grow with the family. Photos here by Hiroshi Ueda.