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House in Mt. Fuji

House in Mt. Fuji (Forest Refuge)

Narusawa, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
villa (guest-house)
138.65 sqm.
wooden construction
Satoshi Okada
project team
Lisa Tomiyama
Eisuke Aida
structural designer
Kenta Masaki
general contractor
Ide Kogyo Co. Ltd.
photo credit:
Satoshi Okada architects & Katsuhisa Kida
House in Mt. Fuji House in Mt. Fuji House in Mt. Fuji

House in Mt. Fuji is a vacation house located on the northern foothills of Mt. Fuji, 1200m above the sea level.

Intuitively, I thought the building should be lost in the shadow.

I divided the whole into two realms with a diagonal wall: hence I could both achieve a proportionate exterior shape and enhance the feeling of a longer indoor. Outside, peculiarly, along the diagonal wall, I fixed the sloping roof in accordance with the gradient of the terrain: the building scale was therefore effectively adjusted onto the landscape.

The entrance is dark enough guide one’s glance upwards at the skylight and downwards at the living room, far beyond: the path leading to the latter features a subtle gradient from a tall, narrow and dim entrance to an airy, broader and lighter space along the diagonal wall.

The smaller volume on the northeast contains a hall connecting living to the bedrooms, stacked one on top of each other, and to the bathroom, slightly separated to prevent the humidity filtering out from the water plumbing. If the living quarter is meant to be used from dawn till noon, this dim hall caters for the second half of the day: the afternoon sunlight pierces through a small square window beneath the ceiling and washes the opposite white wall turning the color of space into orange.

The structure consists of a wooden frame.

The outer wall is cladded with Japanese cedar stained black, the color of lava, for the memory of the site. In the landscape between leaves high above and turfy soil, the building stands like a ground upheaval of the site, where the black lava has slept since the ancient times. At the first glimpse, it appears like a dark band between the foliage, as if the black house were a shadow in the forest.


Text by Satoshi Okada

House in Mt. Fuji House in Mt. Fuji House in Mt. Fuji
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