The Clearwater House / Seshimo Architects + Peter Hahn Associates

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© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography © Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
  • Structural Engineer: Kozo Keikaku Sekkeishitsu
  • Mechanical Engineer: Academic
  • Art Coordination: Art Front Gallery
  • Project Management: Nisade
  • Site Area : 1,046.08 m2
  • Building Area : 342.01 m2
© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography © Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography

Text description provided by the architects. This vacation home on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido sits on a bluff with a view of Mt. Yotei (also called Ezo Fuji for its resemblance to Mt. Fuji), overlooking a river that meanders slowly along the base of the mountain. The structure cantilevers out over the bluff as if to float amidst the surrounding nature. Its name, The Clearwater, is derived from the pure snowmelt from Mt. Yotei that flows in the river below.

© Aaron Jamieson © Aaron Jamieson

Three rectangular forms

© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
First Floor Plan
© Aaron Jamieson
© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
one another in alternating layers, which are clearly organized in the following manner: The lowest level containing a “wellness area,” the middle level (the ground floor) the public domain of the house, and the uppermost level (the second floor) private bedrooms. There are two master bedrooms, each with its own view of either Mt. Yotei or Mt. Annupuri.

© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography © Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
First Floor Plan First Floor Plan
© Aaron Jamieson © Aaron Jamieson

Upon approach, the façade seems closed. It offers privacy from the street and neighboring properties, but also offers an element of surprise as the building completely opens to the landscape on the other side: taking in panoramic views of Niseko area.

© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography © Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography

The grand staircase provides views of the forest at different levels as the guests move between the floors, and is designed to serve as a symbolic, sculptural element. The minimalist exterior contrasts with the abundant use of natural wood and stone interior finishes, which together with the generously dimensioned furniture provide maximum comfort inside.

© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography © Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography

Altogether, the building provides an environment that is simultaneously a luxurious celebration of the client’s many accomplishments, and a warm, casual, cabin-like space for both physical and mental relaxation with family and friends.

© Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography © Junji Kojima / 45gPhotography
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