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Hanya Yanagihara reviews Japan’s Magical Mountainside in the Karuizawa town

Japan Architecture News - Apr 03, 2017 - 20:28   12092 views

Hanya Yanagihara reviews Japan’s Magical Mountainside in the Karuizawa town

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The real curiosity of Karuizawa, though, is not its landscape nor its residents, but rather, its collection of spectacular avant-garde houses, most of them designed by prominent Japanese architects. There is Makoto Yamaguchi’s Polygon House, a quasi-Brutalist geode of distressed steel and glass that perches on a hill in a forest like an abandoned space pod; the concrete, glass and larch wood Omizubata N House by Iida Archiship Studio, whose dramatically steepled roof recalls an ancient Norse ship; TNA’s Passage House, where a horizontally oriented front entryway functions as a trap door, giving visitors the sensation that the forest floor beneath — over which the ring-shaped house hovers — is the ground floor of the structure, and the house itself its attic.

Perhaps most splendid of all is TNA’s Ring House, a miniature tower deep in the forest constructed of alternating layers of wood and glass: In the evening, when the sky is dark blue and the house is lit from within, it appears as stacked slices of pure light, its bands of wood receding into the ink of the night.......Continue Reading

Top image: Polygon House. Image © Mikael Olsson. Producer: HK Productions

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