Kamakura House, Japan
The design of this house is informed by the Japanese belief that nature is at its most beautiful when considered in relation to the man-made. Like many traditional Japanese houses, it is essentially inward-looking, opening up only to take advantage of a sequence of 'captured' views of the surrounding landscape.
Designed for a collector of Buddhist art, the house was conceived as a modern retreat in the coastal town of Kamakura. A series of parallel structural walls organises the interior spaces, which are further articulated by perpendicular infill walls that carry the service functions. The primary walls are clad with a custom-manufactured reconstructed stone, while glass blocks made from recycled television tubes provide diffuse light. Floor surfaces are covered in part with antique Chinese tiles, while the indoor pool is finished in glazed volcanic stone tiles.
The attention to the play of light and shadow, created through a combination of materials, artificial and natural light, is fundamental to the design and evokes the quietude of traditional Japanese architecture.
Vivian was part of the project team at Foster and Partners, London and was responsible for the interiors.
All content courtesy of Foster and Partners.