hiding glass house in japanese forest sees 360 degrees through all-round windows

hiding glass house in japanese forest sees 360 degrees through all-round windows

Ring House by Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima


Tokyo-based practice TNA Architects by Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima designed the hiding glass ‘Ring House’ in 2006, enveloping the residential architecture in Japan with unobstructed windows in four corners. The only barricade that disrupts the views in and out is the dark-wood panelings that alternate with the windows.


Set in Karuizawa, a mountain resort town in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, the glass-covered dwelling offers 360-degree views of its green surroundings, neither defined by any floor divisions nor suffocated by any unnecessary design details and elements. The relationship between the homeowners and nature springs as the foundation of the glass house.

ring house TNA architects
screenshot images courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty, via website



As the glass house soars above the sloping land of the Karuizawa forest, residents are afforded a serene and intimate environment where a restful stay appears as a must. Wooden fixtures blend well with the white interior.


The concept of minimalism is underlined through the use of limited but essential furniture. The bathroom becomes a tranquil ground residents may resort to if they want to stay in touch with nature while still remaining in the comfort of the personal space.

ring house TNA architects



One-bedroom studio outside the glass house


The staircase inside the Ring House by Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima of TNA Architects has the essence of a spiraling flight of steps but reflects a boxy sequence by design. As residents ascend through the manual elevator, they are given a sense of moving up the forest, a chance to soak in the greenery enveloping them.


At times, residents might feel as if they were wrestling with privacy drawn from the openness gifted by the windows, yet a grounded feeling of safety wins the flick of concern that sweeps into their thoughts. As of publishing the story, Sotheby’s International Realty has listed the Ring House as available to own on its website.


The single-family home is offered together with a built extra bedroom space that sits outside of the original property. The geometric-shaped, one-bedroom studio slants on the roof to allow giant windows to be installed around it. Inside, the sojourn continues the ethos of the Ring House with its unimpeded viewing of the forest, letting the outside inside.

ring house TNA architects
dining area

ring house TNA architects


one-bedroom studio outside Ring House by TNA Architects


project info:


name: Ring House

architects: Makoto Takei and Chie Nabeshima of TNA Architects

location: Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture in Japan

completion year: 2006

listing: Sotheby’s International Realty here

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