The Four Leaves Villa is located in a forest in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture of Japan. The privately owned villa was designed by KIAS to accommodate the owners and their friends in the rich natural environment at a mountain retreat 150 kilometers away from Tokyo.
In order to acquire a specific natural scenery and light environment, each living function faces its own desired orientation. The living and dining spaces face south-east for a brighter living environment, while the master bedroom and bathroom face west offering a private scenery of the forest. These compartments are assembled into three interconnected volumes that are placed on site among the pre-existing trees.
In order to form variable cross sections suitable for each function, the roofs were designed as curved surfaces resembling gently twisted leaves. A combination of a concave and a convex roof configures from a high ceiling expansive space to introverted compact rooms. Every roof has been designed as a ruled surface in which straight laminated veneer lumber joists are arranged continuously to form an organic geometry. A series of wooden joists is exposed on the ceiling highlighting the dynamic spatial character of each living space.
The design process that responds to its environmental context has produced multiple organic roofs and established architecture as an aggregate of diverse living spaces. The appearance of the villa blends in harmoniously with the natural surroundings and is perfectly integrated into the local landscape.
Design and info © KIAS
Images © Norihito Yamauchi