Japan. A villa in the forest wants to imitate nature

A roof that flexes inspired by leaves, rooms arranged to maximize exposure to light, and the close presence of trees. Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio's project for a home away from home in Japan.

In the forest of Karuizawa, 150 km from Tokyo, Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio (KIAS) designs a weekend residence conceived as an organic and scenic retreat to accommodate its clients' desire to reconnect with nature.

The analogy with the vegetation that surrounds the building is enhanced not only by the privileged choice of wood, but also by the complex geometry of the roof, which evokes the twisting of the leaves through an elaborate relationship of concave and convex forms. As a result of this torsion, the space of the attic changes according to the different heights, alternating important volumes and small cosy rooms such as a music room and a bedroom.

As for the plan, the various areas of the house are not articulated in a single volume, but are divided into three interconnected blocks positioned on the basis of their orientation. The large living area, a vast open space that articulates kitchen, dining room and living room, looks towards south-east maximizing the presence of light. The block of rooms, on the other hand, faces west enhancing the close contact with the trees, whose presence is intensified thanks to large glass windows.

Inside, the succession of laminated wood beams that create the staggered roof is exposed on the ceiling, underlining the dynamic trend of the living space. Outside, the building is clad in red cedar planks, while the roof reveals its iridescent presence thanks to galvanized steel.

Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan
KIAS (Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio)
Structural engineering:
Building Structure Institute (Kazuyuki Ohara, Shuichi Takahashi)
Sasazawa Kensetsu
225 sqmi, 1127 sqm site area

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