Four Leaves Villa

Four Leaves Villa

Private Houses
Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan - Build completed in 2018
Norihito Yamauchi

Weekend Villa in Karuizawa

KIAS (Kentaro Ishida Architects Studio) as Architects

The villa is located in a forest in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture of Japan. The privately owned villa is designed to accommodate its owner and their friends in the rich natural environment at a mountain retreat 150km away from Tokyo.


In order to acquire specific natural scenery and light environment, each living function faces its own desired orientation. Living and dining space faces south-east for a brighter living environment while master bedroom and bathroom faces west offering private scenery of the forest. These living functions are assembled into 3 interconnected volumes that are placed on site among the pre-existing trees.


In order to form variable cross section suitable for each function, roofs were designed as curved surface like a gently twisted leaves. Combination of a concave and a convex roof configures from a high ceiling's expansive space to an introverted compact space. Every roof was designed as a Ruled Surface in which straight LVL joists were arranged continuously to form an organic geometry. Series of wooden joists are exposed on the ceiling highlighting its dynamic spatial characters of each living space.


The design process that responds to its environmental context produced multiple organic roofs and established architecture as an aggregate of diverse living spaces. Appearance of the villa blends in harmoniously with the natural surroundings and perfectly integrated to the local landscape.


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