A wooden platform below the window – made from black-painted native Paulownia wood – forms a seating area and walkway that continues through the space, linking the three split-level floors. Glass doors in a small inlet between the kitchen and the dining area create an alternative entrance point, while a set of wood-framed double doors at the end of the dining space lead to a larger porch with integrated seating. The bathroom next door, which has white fittings and a black tiled floor, is divided into wet and dry areas by a large glass door. Directly inside, white closets are built into the walls and there is also a large picture window directly in front. Pale timber doors that contrast the black facade slide open to lead into the building. A white island in the kitchen sits on a patch of white tiled flooring, with white storage areas and appliances to the rear, in an otherwise entirely black timber-clad space. Lengths of black-painted timber clad this single-storey holiday home in Japan by Studio Aula, which steps across a wooded site in three volumes of increasing sizes (+ slideshow). High-level windows are positioned at the front of the property, while large sections of glazing along the lower edge of the building’s rear take advantage of mountainous views. To the left of the entrance, a step up leads to a narrow corridor with black floorboards, and a bedroom and bathroom. Site plan – click for larger imageFloor plan – click for larger imageSection – click for larger image “The premise is of a perfect scenic beauty,” said the architects, who has also designed a house with a pale timber latticed ceiling in Shiojiri. Related story: FAM Architekti’s Lake Cabin provides a waterside retreat in a Czech forestThe one-bedroom retreat is situated on a small hill overlooking a forest and two nearby mountain ranges in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture. A layer of light grey gravel ramped around the perimeter of the property blends a step up to the primary entrance, under a porch supported on three slim black columns.