Villa in Kaikoh is designed as a holiday house in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, a well-known hot spring resort 100 km west from Tokyo. The site lies on a steep cliff, bordering a major public road on its top edge and a narrow path 16 m down below: the latter offers a splendid wide view the Ocean. The owners often invite guests over especially for enjoying the thermal water streaming out of the local hotspring.
The building might be viewed as if a continuous strip was to be folded by in different directions so that complex interlocked voids are generated both vertically and horizontally: the villa lies on eight stepped and interconnected platforms. The continuous strip opens up in several points and creates stages for various activities. In other point it precisely delineates a single-purpose space.
The main entry faces the public road at the upper end of the site; moving downwards, a domestic “spa” was designed to take advantage of the best view onto the Ocean: it features indoor and outdoor bathtubs, extended onto a panoramic terrace.
Structurally, it is made of a hybrid composition of brand-new steel structure upon reinforced concrete fabric. Steel was absolutely required in order to eliminate any bulky column or wall: that allows ample living spaces and confers a feeling of lightness to the whole building. Moreover, the steel construction was sensibly convenient given the difficult conditions of the site.
Text by Satoshi Okada