Architects: Kotaro Ide / ARTechnic architects
Location: Kitasaku, Nagano, Japan
Assistants: Moriyuki Fujihara, Ruri Mitsuyasu, Takashi Mototani (former member), Kenyu Fujii
Collaborator: Manami Ide (designer of customized metal work)
Structural Engineer: Naomi Kitayama / NAO
Mechanical engineer: Hiroshi Nakayama / TNA
Electrical Engineer: Jyunetsu Satou / EPS
Contractor: Kenji Kusunoki / GIKAKU
Site Area: 1,711 sqm
Constructed Area: 329 sqm
Construction year: 2008
Photographs: Nacasa & Partners Inc.
A large shell shaped structure finds itself in the middle of the woods. It is hard to determine what exactly the structure is, and unlike the surrounding caves and rocks, it clearly is not a part of nature - nor is it a ruin. A frame, a shape, made at a completely different place for a completely different purpose. Within this shell shaped structure will one find floors constructed, wall separating spaces, and rooms furnished. The scenery conjures a SF film-like image, in which locals inhabit over an abandoned spacecraft. With time, trees start to grow encircling the spacecraft, harmonizing it into the landscape.
Desiring a place that will be occupied frequently over many years and yet at the same time be in sync with nature, we came up with the aforementioned scenery of a large shell structure floating above ground.
Being in sync with nature isn’t about yielding to nature - it’s about coexistence. The existence of the structure depends on its power to endure nature. By isolating living space from the wilderness, and upgrading its quality as a shelter, the house will be protected from nature and will provide a comfortable environment. With this, the house will be taken care of and used frequently and continuously.
Specifically in cases of villas, frequent use is what leads it to blend in with its surroundings.
The regions’ low temperatures and high humidity level makes for a harsh climate. As a result, many houses that take on traditional structures are decaying. Is it in sync with nature? Perhaps. But the whole idea of comfort seems to be put into question. Consequently, large numbers of villas have not been in use for many years bringing them down to further dilapidation. Despite the general avoidance of concrete material in the region, its usage and the lifting structure have helped the villa protect itself from the humidity.