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Villa at Sengokubara by Shigeru Ban

December 4, 2013

I’ve written a few times now about Japanese houses (and here), buildings that display either unbelievable spatial conundrums, unusual forms of construction, or are simply just beautiful things, and are often all three. Well Dezeen has just sent me details of another one…

Designed by the highly respected Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (he of the cardboard tube structures), the Villa at Sengokubara in Kanagawa, definitely falls into the beautiful category..

SB_Ground Floor Plan

I’ll start with the plan, as for me that’s where the wonder begins… As you can see, the villa is relatively large in scale especially for Japan. It’s basic form is that of a perfect square with a central tear drop shaped courtyard, with a single tree and a perfectly manicured lawn.

But it is so much more than that: the elegant curve of the internal walls, the overlapping of the roof structures to create the entrance and the clever blurring of the inside and outside, all combine to create a series of spaces that the photographs below clearly illustrate is something very special.


The accommodation is generally all on the one level, however the roof slopes almost imperceptibly upwards in one corner to create a small mezzanine area that overlooks the main living space.

And what a space it is, with its radiating exposed timber ceiling structure, fully removable sliding glazing and a view into that serene courtyard that would be an amazing place to start and end a day. Dividing walls are made from vertical timber slats and give views through to the rooms beyond, only adding to the sense of expectation.

And as for the large opening in the rear element that leads through to yet another landscaped external space, with what looks like a fireplace in the center for sitting round on those cool Japanese evenings…

I could definitely see me & And living in a house like this. More can be found at Dezeen







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