Cabin in the Woods / K+S Architects

Architects: K+S Architects
Area: 51 m²
Year: 2020
Photography: Hiroshi Ueda
Lead Architects: Aya Sato, Nobuya Kashima
Structure Engineers: Nagasaka Structure Engineers, Ken Nagasaka, Miho Okada
Mechanical And Electrical Engineers: K+S Architects
Contractors: Hapia Design, Kenichi Sakaguchi
External Structure, Planting Contractor: Hiroshi Hara
City: Karuizawa
Country: Japan

The Karuizawa Villa, a residential project by K+S Architects in Karuizawa, Japan, blends harmoniously with its forested surroundings at the base of Mt. Asama. Completed in 2020, this 51 m² villa utilizes the natural terrain of its rhombus-shaped site, creating a seamless integration of architecture and environment. The design employs multiple levels, including a garden-level terrace and a versatile inner room that maximizes space for communal living. Bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper-level offer privacy while maintaining a connection to the outdoors. The architects aimed to minimize ecological disruption, cutting only one tree and compensating by planting a large cherry tree.

Cabin in the woods / k+s architects

K+S Architects designed the Karuizawa Villa nestled in the forests at the base of Mt. Asama. Seeking to create a sanctuary that embraces nature’s vitality, they crafted a small villa within the lush forest. The rhombus-shaped site, bordered by a gravel road on one side, slopes southward, forming a natural depression that guided the design. The architects positioned different levels of floors along the terrain, allowing each level to interact uniquely with the environment.

The garden-level terrace features a table and bench, offering elevated views of the surrounding high trees due to the combined slopes of the roof and ground. In the evening, a cool breeze from the forest makes the terrace a perfect summer retreat.

Cabin in the woods / k+s architects

The intermediate level contains a flexible inner room with a bench along the wall facing the terrace bench. This layout expands the small space into a larger living area conducive to communication. Eaves shield the room from the harsh summer sun while offering views of the green garden.

The upper-level bedroom connects to the hall and provides a quiet view of the forest through the windows. Bathrooms and toilets at the same level ensure privacy yet can open entirely to blend with the natural surroundings. A small bench on the bathroom balcony offers a peaceful spot to read while immersed in nature.

Cabin in the woods / k+s architects

The architects preserved the forest’s ecology by minimizing alterations to the land, cutting only one tree while planting a large mountain cherry tree as compensation. The villa thoughtfully integrates with its environment, providing a serene retreat.

Cabin in the woods / k+s architects
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Project Location

Address: Karuizawa, Japan

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