This is a weekend house in Karuizawa. The client requested a plan in which the public and private spaces were independent from each other but at the same time effectively linked, so that the residence could function as a place for the client to use with family, with friends, or to invite a larger number of guests for receptions. The lot is on a saddle-shaped mountain ridge, and it has a completely open view to the north and south, as well as to the east. However, it has very little flat space. Considering the condition for cars traveling up the ridge and the locations suitable for parking, the main issue in the plan was to use the slope while resolving the height difference.
The building is oriented east-west and has a large open space between the floor and the ceiling. Various functional rooms support the structure and besides those volumes, everything has been designed as openings with glass windows. These volumes are covered with Japanese cedar used in the external walls, and only the minimum space has been opened towards the living and dining areas. If all the glass windows are opened, the interior is perfectly harmonized with the surrounding nature. This weekend house reminded us that to plan a building beyond the barriers of architecture and that integrates with the surrounding environment, you should not “design a building” but instead, “design a place”.