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Hidemi Nishida: Fragile Shelter

‘Fragile Shelter’ by hidemi nishida, sapporo, japan images courtesy of hidemi nishida

Japanese artist and designer hidemi nishida has completed ‘fragile shelter’, a temporary winter structure located deep in the forest in sapporo, japan. modest and gentle, the building looks to bring people together in an empathetic and unlikely space which will leave no evidence of its existence once it’s been dismantled.

six identical but slightly offset forms hug the landscape, shifting up and down to mirror the undulations of the earth. elevated in the air, the meandering form is a direct response of the drastic weather conditions, its pitched and overextended roof designed to protect the transient inhabitants, its body purposefully hovering above the average snow line.

the static volumes, shifting and offset, appear to be in constant movement

translucent plastic sheets enclose the unit, faintly exposing the timber structure which composes and defines each individual volume. glowing from within like a lantern, the ethereal and unimposing shelter seems to be in constant flux – its color and permeability altered by the weather and time of day.


warm wood and a small heater transform the interior environment, its small and compact space in constant contact with the natural surroundings. the stepped floor, a direct reflection of the exterior form, acts as natural seating that accommodate the influx of visitors.


interior at night

interior during the day

the stepped platforms act as seats

overall structure at night

side and front elevation

WINTER HOUSE_Fragile Shelter Project from Hidemi Nishida on Vimeo.

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