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  • ©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Work #50

Shell

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

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©Photo: Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Kotaro Ide / ARTechnic architects

Architect

Kotaro Ide

ARTechnic architects

Location of construction
Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan
Year of construction
2008
Categories
Houses/Villas

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.

Leaving the boundary between human life and nature ambiguous is a Japanese virtue. Yet, this ideal can only be achieved through meticulous attention and care of the wilderness on a daily basis. This might be attainable at our homes, but isn’t a practical theory when applied to villas. If a visit to the villa inevitably leads to hours and days of maintenance, why bother going? It clearly goes against the purpose of a villa.

Structure : Reinforced concrete
Site area : 1711m²
Total floor area : 329 m²