Kamakura, the ancient capital of Japan - This house was built in a lush green area close to Meigetsuin Temple.
The greenery of Kamakura is atmospheric. Most of the historical and cultural heritage is integrated with the natural environment of the hills behind, forming a unique climate.

This building has an existing main house. The years of living in this area have given the building a refined and beautiful appearance. We carefully planned the new building to preserve this appearance and to reflect the wishes of the family who will actually live in the house.

If one is conscious of the surrounding landscape and the culture of the region, one will naturally arrive at a building of solid quality and soundness. It is essential that the building be able to satisfy the modern way of living in terms of ventilation, lighting, and safety - in other words, it is essential to secure functions that also bring convenience. Based on this, our overall goal was to create a building that is "appropriate and suitable" (i.e., not too much or too little). In other words, to avoid over-design, we took into consideration the dimensions, determined the "suitability" of the materials, and focused on the "appropriateness" of the parts and quantities used.

The low-profile exterior with deep eaves emphasizes stability in both appearance and quality. In addition, the overall color scheme, both inside and outside, takes into consideration the changes that age will bring. Historical buildings in Kamakura have almost no modern primary colors, and the client's main building also shows this characteristic. Therefore, although each building is a stand-alone structure, in this case, harmony with the surrounding and nearby landscape was especially important. The colors of the natural materials will change their appearance over time, giving the buildings a calm and serene appearance. The layout of the building follows the shape of the site and maximizes the distance between the interior spaces.

Chestnut hatchet finish is used throughout the interior, and diatom earth and Oya stone are used as accents on the walls. The yuzu skin of the diatomaceous earth blends well with the hatchet-finished wood, and goes well with the touch of the Oya stone. The shadows created by the fine unevenness of the stone change their expression depending on the light conditions, creating a sense of depth. These materials, which are excellent in humidity control and fire resistance, also play a role in regulating the indoor environment.
The opening to the garden is fully open, with the windows tucked into the small openings of the walls so that the greenery can be fully appreciated.

Taking advantage of the site's bounty, the house is located in Kamakura, a city with a rich history. It is a fusion of calculated and beautiful simplicity and modern functionality. In other words, the "assertion without excess or deficiency" expressed in this residence is based on the concept of "Japanese spirit with Western sensibilities.


  • Completion 2016.06
  • Building site Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture
  • Principal use private residence
  • Structure Single-storied wooden house
  • Floor area 183.41㎡
  • Photo Nacasa & Partners