House in Karuizawa

House in Karuizawa


The site
This week-end house is built on a steep wooded slope facing the highest mountain in the area, the Asama volcano. It is composed of three distinct blocks that swing around a mountainous shoulder. The middle block, used to anchor the house, was precisely oriented towards the volcano while the other two parts frame the foregrounds and different lights. The house thus fits into the large scale of the territory, Mount Asama, and the one closest to the forest and the surrounding slopes.

The metaphor of the mountain temple and the hamlet
Playing with the topography of the place, the house evokes both a mountain temple set on expressive pilotis and a small hamlet in the mountain. The galvanized metal piles are thus treated like a pedestal on which rests the black and independent volumes of the “houses of the village”. This independence is reinforced by the footbridge which leads to the entrance and the volumes uniformly covered with burnt black cedar of a rather rustic aspect. The look of a hamlet comes from a balance between the expression of unity of the materials of the walls counterbalanced by the shifts of the volumes and roofs of different heights. The interior also shows a subtle game between unity and variety. If the heights, shapes and orientations differ according to the three parts, the choice of materials is restricted showing large bright volumes covered with light ceilings covered by panels of laminated lime.

Photo credits:
Jérémie Souteyrat

1: Overall Exterior view
2,3: South-West elevation
4: Entrance, East
5: Rear elevation
6: South-West elevation
7,8: View from the path to the house
9: Exterior Bath
10,11,12: Entrance
13,14,15,16,17,18: Common Room
19: Master-bedroom
20: Children Bedroom

Client: Private
Location: Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture

Architect: Mikan (Kiwako Kamo, Masashi Sogabe, Masayoshi Takeuchi, Manuel Tardits)
Furniture: Mikan
Structure: Kanebako Structural Engineers
General Contractor: Niizugumi

Structure: steel post and beam (pedestal), wood post and beam (superstructure), RC (garage)

Surface of the site: 6280m2
Built Surface: 173,5m2 (house) + 88,9m2 (garage)

Building materials :
Interior : flooring :oak; walls : painted plaster ; ceiling : lime tree plywood
Furniture : chimney : lacquered steel; armchairs: lacquered steel and chestnut plywood; table-bench/horigotatsu : laminated glued oak ; beds, cupboards and tables : lime tree plywood
Exterior : walls : varnished burned cedar, yakisugi; terrace : selangan batu

Design : 05-2013~04-2015
Construction : 05-2015~06-2016