Finding the perfect spot to build one’s dream home can take years. It certainly did for the owner of this extraordinary house which sits on a sloping site at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains in Nagano, Japan. The house was designed and built by Kidosaki Architects Studio in 2012 and fully embraces its immediate and distant surroundings. You can tell just by looking at it from a distance that the focus of the design was to make the most of the views but nothing can truly prepare you for just how spectacular the scenery is.
You can clearly see the steep angle of the sloping site and the division of spaces by looking at the house from the sideThe two steel cylinders which support the cantilevered half of the house also give the structure a sleek and lightweight appearance
It’s obvious that the panoramic views dictated the whole design and structure of this amazing cantilevered house. This 303 square meter structure is the result of the architects’ efforts to respond to two big challenges: the sloping site topography and the client’s desire to incorporate the scenery into the design. In order to deal with these special circumstances and requirements, the studio used two diagonal steel cylinders measuring 300 mm in diameter each to support half of the building and to allow it to basically float in mid air.
In order to make the most of the panoramic views, the architects gave the house not only large windows but also a series of open terracesAs soon as you pass the narrow entryway hall, the entire scenery unfolds and mesmerizing views strike the eyeThe top floor is framed by open terraces on all sides and shares a very special connection with the site and its surroundingsThe glazed top floor is very open and spacious and has a flat roof which extends over the terracesAlthough the house features high ceilings, the focus in on the horizontal views which are maximized thanks to the huge glazed surfacesThe open terrace which wraps around the perimeter of the top floor offers an increased sense of security and comfortEven the windows on the sides of the house offer stunning views. Their role is also to bring natural light into the living areasThe living area is almost entirely wrapped in glass only. An exception is one corner of the space which accommodates a fireplace
This would have to be one of the most impressive and memorable cantilevered houses we’ve ever come acrossThe exterior terraces are frames with steel and glass guardrails which offer security without obstructing the viewsThe lower section of the house is almost entirely closed off and looks like a solid concrete blockThe cantilevered top floor is partially set on the site on one side but even here it’s slightly raised off the groundThe architects kept the palette of materials and colors very simple throughout in order to allow the emphasis to be on the viewsThe interior design and layout of the spaces are also meant to maximize the scenery and to let nature insideThe house manages to blend into the landscape and to let the outdoors in while also standing out and looking imposingAll the areas of the house take advantage of the panorama as best as possible. This applies to both common and private spacesThe flat roof extends to the sides of the house and offers shade while also framing the views quite nicelyBecause basically all the exterior walls are made of glass, there’s virtually no wall-mounted furniture in the living areaThe geometry and the architecture of the house are very simple, clean and linear, in harmony with the materials used throughoutThe entrance hall is pretty narrow and closed off, in contrast with the rest of the houseThe low-pitch roof appears almost flat from certain angles and is in tone with the rest of the design