A Home Around The Forest / YSLA Architects

Architects: YSLA Architects
Area: 70 m²
Year: 2023
Photographs: Munetaka Onodera
Interior Designers: YSLA architects
Contractors: DK Kensetsu
Structure Engineers: yAt structure design office limited liability Company, yAt Structure Design Office
Lighting Designers: Daisuki Lighting
City: Karuizawa
Country: Japan

“A Home Around the Forest,” a weekend retreat in Karuizawa, Japan, designed by YSLA for a Tokyo-based family, offers a serene escape into nature. Positioned in a familiar holiday destination, this residence serves as their personal 70sqm ‘hotel room’ in the forest, enhancing their leisure experiences. By embracing the concept of Shinrin-Yoku or ‘forest bathing,’ the design encourages creativity, boosts immunity, and reduces stress, fostering a profound connection with the surrounding landscape. The seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces allows the family to fully engage with the forest, ensuring a rejuvenating return to urban life.

A home around the forest / ysla architects

“A Home Around the Forest” serves as a weekend residence in Karuizawa, Japan, tailored for a family of five from central Tokyo. The family, well-acquainted with the locale from numerous stays at nearby hotels, aspired to create their private retreat in the woods—a 70sqm family suite designed to maximize holiday enjoyment.

At YSLA, the design was envisioned to enhance the quality moments the family spends together. The proposal encouraged a shift from urban hustle to tranquil forest living, promoting expansive and rejuvenating experiences immersed in nature.

This approach aligns with the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing, which is recognized for its ability to enhance creativity, strengthen immunity, and alleviate stress—essentially encapsulating the philosophy of ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body.’

The architectural execution involved constructing the residence such that it harmoniously integrates with the forest. Corridors extend outward, blurring the boundaries between the indoors and the outdoors. As a result, the forest merges with the living spaces, enhancing the spatial perception and connection to nature. The family enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, and by the end of their stay, they return to Tokyo revitalized, having spent a holiday that was healthy, balanced, and joy-filled.

A home around the forest / ysla architects
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan

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