Water / Glass | Kengo Kuma and Associates
© Mitsumasa Fujitsuka

Japan 1995Water / Glass


The design of this villa was influenced greatly by "Hyuga" Villa, the sole project which Bruno Taut had left in Japan. The design also gained influences by the philosophies of Taut. Taut's stay in Japan lasted from 1933 until 1936. Meanwhile, his praise over Katsura Palace was ever-lasting. The reasoning for his commendation lied in the fact that the Palace frames the nature yet frames by being one with nature.

Taut specifically paid attention to mechanisms in Katsura Palace that provoked the framing of nature with nature: the eaves and the bamboo verandas. Thus, in our villa, a layer of water which gently covers the building edges signified bamboo verandas in Katsura. Moreover, a stainless louver that roofs the water signified the eaves. The water surface stretches further out and unites the surface with the Pacific Ocean. And on top of the joined surface, a glass box floats. As the box is super-imposed numerous times, refraction of materials brings in reflections of sorts. The relationship between the subject and the environment is challenged upon in various manners by re-defining and re-shaping the Katsura philosophy, yet always maintaining its fundamental essence.

Cooperation Nakata Structural Design Office Facility Yamazaki Setsubi, Kawaguchi Setsubi Award First Place, AIA Dupont Benedictus Award Publication Brutus 2022/02/15 No.955 , Casa BRUTUS 2021/09 Vol.257 , Casa BRUTUS 2016/01 vol.190 , GA JAPAN 67 , Casa BRUTUS 2000/12 vol.9 , Casa BRUTUS 1999/03 , JA : The Japan Architect 1995-03/Autumn No.19 , Shinkenchiku 1995/07 , GA JAPAN 011 Photography ©︎ Mitsumasa Fujitsuka