Japanese studio Kurosawa Kawara-Ten has created a stunning weekend getaway for an elderly couple in Kisaradu Chiba, Japan. The site, located on a steep slope at the edge of a suburban housing complex, offered breathtaking natural scenery that served as the perfect canvas for the studio’s design.
The architects were captivated by the plethora of blooming flowers, lush plants, and verdant trees that had flourished over the years. “It was a sight rarely witnessed in such an aged residential area,” the architectural tudio told urdesign. “The couple, who had spent the past decade tending to their garden and indulging in delightful picnics with crackling fires, harbored a dream of constructing a weekend sanctuary.”
Their vision was simple yet profound – a tranquil haven where they could relish in the bounties of their garden, bask in the warmth of a flickering fire, and unwind far from the bustling streets of Tokyo.
The plan for the beautiful house began with the owner’s dream of becoming an architect in his teenage years. The team worked closely with him, providing lectures on architectural history and style, to arrive at a plan that incorporated three key concepts: unique proportion, stunning views, and minimal impact on the surrounding plant life. The owner also requested walls to display his artwork and a space for family gatherings with his sons.
The house was strategically positioned on the site, carefully avoiding any trees or plants. This allowed the architects to maximize the floor area by making the first floor smaller and extending the second floor. By consolidating the water equipment spaces on the compact first floor and placing the living room on the second floor, the studio was able to create a spacious room with a stunning view of the lush slope. Additionally, the team included a rooftop space to take advantage of the potential scenic views of Tokyo Bay.
The construction of the second floor, which extended out without any visible support, presented significant challenges for the planners. To ensure stability, the structural architect used thick lumber trusses on the sloping side, while employing structural veneers on the other side for added strength. The incorporation of glass panels into the truss triangles created unique views from the inside. Interestingly, these trusses also served functional purposes, such as kitchen shelves or supports for hanging a hammock.
The building’s interior finishes were carefully selected to highlight its core elements, given the budget constraints. This led to a combination of materials such as foundation slab, plaster boards, structural fiber boards, and structural veneers, which gave the space a distinct gray and wooden aesthetic. On the first floor, wooden panels adorned the exterior wall, while galvanized panels were chosen for the second floor, ensuring hassle-free maintenance for the elderly owner down the line.