kengo kuma has integrated a guesthouse into japan’s forested landscape with a design that minimizes the influence of the structure on the existing natural surroundings. located in karuizawa in japan’s nagano prefecture, the sloped site sits upon mount asama — an area known for its vibrant bird habitat. the architect’s design for the guesthouse discretely mimics characteristics of these birds. 

kengo kuma guesthouse
kengo kuma has designed a guesthouse that integrates into its natural setting
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo (also main image)

 

 

to create a transparent structural body, kengo kuma designed the dwelling and its wooden roof to stand, supported by a solid iron column. the architect describes the guesthouse as ‘floating in the forest’ due to the chosen materials, and the openness of the interior, which provides a space without isolation from the surrounding nature. the structure appears to sit upon the elevated terrain like a crown.

kengo kuma guesthouse
the japanese guesthouse sits on the hill like a physical crown
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo

kengo kuma guesthouse
the walls are entirely made of glass, bridging the gap between the interior and exterior
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo

kengo kuma guesthouse
the guesthouse sits on a platform, adding to the overall feeling of a floating home
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo

kengo kuma guesthouse
much of the living space extends outdoors
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo

kengo kuma guesthouse
the wooden structure is supported by hidden iron columns
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo

kengo kuma guesthouse
the architect’s design for the guesthouse mimics the characteristics of a soaring bird
image © keishin horikoshi | SS tokyo

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