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Karuizawa Counterpoint

Location / Karuizawa, Nagano
Completion / 2008
Design / Hideki Tamura 
Collaborator / Tsunemi Araragi

Publication /
Shinkenchiku 住宅特集 2010.03

Casa BRUTUS 特別編集「21世紀・日本の名作住宅vol.2」

'Casa D' N.47 / Italy 
ARCH 2009.09 / Taiwan
and etc...


コンクリート屋根を敷地上部より見おろす     撮影:淺川敏






The villa is a retreat for a client who leads a busy life in the city, seeking to spend precious time with family or guests in a rich forest. From the outset, the client requested a house that would not reveal its interior from the exterior. While it was understandable that the client requested a house that would not reveal its interior from the exterior for the purpose of entertaining guests, when walking around the woods surrounding the site on the mountain slope, we felt that the temporal aspect that the client desired was already present. Therefore, we aimed to create a house that would provide an experience of wandering through the forest, full of unexpected events, as well as serving as a base for exploring the forest.

Looking down from the upper part of the site, undulating concrete roofs appear to float on the mid-slope of the sloping land. The organic silhouette overlaps with the mountain range behind it, deforming as it descends the curved approach, eventually transforming into an arch that covers the visitor's head. The roof is grounded on the sloping ground above the parking lot, where visitors can instantly experience "mountain walking." Inside, the undulating roof is reflected in the ceiling surface, allowing visitors to explore the house like the surrounding forest. The topography of the site intervenes in the interior as terraced stairs and brings various changes of perspective to the visitor's gaze. As visitors weave through the gaps in the curved surface walls like tree trunks, from the entrance to the living room, the ceiling becomes high and rounded, and the view opens up to the distance. Various niches of different sizes, incorporating bookshelves, kitchens, and fireplaces, are carved into each "tree trunk." These diverse niches open up unconscious behaviors, leading to accidental pleasures and discoveries on a daily basis, such as taking a detour to a bookshelf in the middle of a bath or watching over children while cooking in the kitchen and being captivated by the colors of the mountain range outside.

By improvising a walk both inside and outside the house, an active daily life can be realized, experiencing a polyphony that is equally played from various places without being centered on one. The differences between the mountain range and the undulating roof, the multiple niches, and the gap between the forest and the house will constantly repeat in a counterpoint, bringing about new creative environments.

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