mount fuji and the terrace
tezuka architects presents its “castle house”, built in shizuoka with a breathtaking view of mount fuji. when designing the project, the team notes that ‘every Japanese yearns for the arid mountain, which is nothing more than a pile of pumice stone sticking out from under the surface of the earth.’ the view of mount fuji, paired with the faint sound of running water and surrounding farmland lends a bucolic nature to the residential neighborhood.
due to a local residential rule, the height of the castle house does not exceed that of its neighbours. Because most houses in Shizuoka have conventional pitched roofs, privileged views of Mount Fuji are limited to a second-story window for most of the area. the architects note: ‘therefore, the act of “climbing upwards” has always been naturally integrated into the daily lifestyle of Japanese people..’
a castle house in the air
tezuka architects (see more here) designs his house-castle as a journey that unfolds upwards, so that the landscape changes as its occupants climb to the top. the team tells designboom: ‘it may seem obvious at first, but it’s not the same as going upstairs. when the house is raised with large overhanging terraces, the perception of the landscape and the way of life changes.‘
like “a side dish laid on a cutting board”, the main living spaces are turned upside down, the opposite of conventional architecture. these “cutting boards” function both as roofs and as platforms to accommodate living spaces. the architects specify: ‘a house sits on this house of floating planks, just as the interior is only possible if there is the shell of the architecture.‘
living in the air allows for an element of “open privacy”. Directionally, human perception of the environment is usually horizontal or vertical. the architects explain: ‘if you shift your attention upwards and continue walking, you will be caught in holes and ditches. therefore, being on higher ground creates a subtle sense of intimacy made possible by gravity.’
live in the middle of a garden
tezuka architects comment on the spirit of his castle house: ‘man cannot live apart from nature. it is not only the basic needs such as oxygen and water, but the ecological system as a whole cannot be separated. modern people can no longer face the true exterior. a good relationship with the external environment is necessary.
‘just as a person cannot eat tree bark or an animal as a whole, a person cannot live without nature. that is why a garden is considered in the design of the house. gardens are a natural alternative to the man who belongs to nature.
‘but one cannot live in the garden because a garden is an environment in which one must indulge. people can live on this terrace where privacy is preserved and where long eaves protect the inhabitants from the rain, sheltered from the muddy ground.’