Architects: Kiyotoshi Mori & Natsuko Kawamura / MDS
Completion year: 2012
Site Area: 691 sqm
Floor Area: 110.01 sqm
Photography: Toshiyuki Yano
Location: Hokuto-City,Yamanashi, Japan
The Yatsugatake Villa with a farm where the residents can grow their own vegetable is located at the foot of the mountain. The house invites the surrounding natural environment inside.
Although a small island country, Japan is long in the north-south direction, and thus, has varying climate and culture. The beauty exists in each season in these different locales which has their own climates and cultures. Since the ancient times, the people in Japan has nurtured their aesthetic sense as they coexist with the nature. Mt. Yatsugatake is located in the middle of this archipelago. The middle part of the mountain’s side is known as one of Tokyo’s summer getaways. Lower down in elevation, vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers are grown. The site for this villa is located in the area in between these two where it is a little too hot, for Japanese standard, in summer and very cold in winter.
The client is an elderly couple who left the life in the city and moved to this land surrounded by beautiful mountains to spend their remaining lives farming. Located in the harsh environment, it was necessary for the house to provide an interior environment without relying on air conditioning for the residents to stay cool in summer and warm in winter. First of all, considering the cold period in winter, the building is arranged in fan-shape open toward the south, so that the amount of sun light entering the building is maximized, and the residents can enjoy the warmth of the sun at any time of the day. In summer, on the other hand, the extended, gate-shaped, roof and walls block the bright sun and shade the interior. The windows placed on the south and north invite the breeze to cool down inside.
Thanks to the spatial arrangement of the plan, which was derived from the thermal environment of the house, the sceneries with varying depth extend beyond the openings connecting the rooms. The various spatial qualities and scenes unfold inside the house despite its simple plan.