- Nanjo, Okinawa, Japan
- Kubota Architect Atelier
Perched atop a hill 30 metres above sea level in Nanjo City, Okinawa, Japan, KI-HOUSE is a minimal masterpiece that takes full advantage of its remarkable location. Designed by the renowned Kubota Architect Atelier, this unique house offers a panoramic view of the ocean to the east, with a touch of the sublime that only this part of the world can provide.
The house is a blend of contemporary design and the awe-inspiring Okinawan landscape. Splitting the long and narrow site into two halves is a cleverly inserted wall. On the frontage side, the building appears half-underground, seamlessly integrated into the earth, allowing it to embrace the natural surroundings. From the front, the volume of the structure is hidden, creating the illusion that its roof hovers in harmony with nature. The roof is gracefully tapered, minimising its surface thickness to create a sleek and unobtrusive profile.
KI-HOUSE enjoys a unique vantage point, offering a breathtaking view of Kudaka Island to the front and the historic Sefa Utaki, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the rear. It's as if this residence has been strategically placed at the crossroads of two sacred locations, immersed in the beauty of the environment and the serenity of the best possible vistas.
In terms of structural design, the house incorporates two robust concrete walls, offering resilience against natural disasters like typhoons. These walls are embedded into the ground at right angles. A parallel concrete slab forms the roof, lending an air of suspension and lightness to the structure.
Inside, passing beneath the low eaves of the floating slabs, you begin a descent down a slope into a white tunnel-like space. Emerging from the other side, you're hit with a flood of natural light. The play of light and darkness, the caress of wind and water, all converge to create an atmosphere of freedom. This residence stands as a testament to how architecture can seamlessly blend with the environment, offering a unique and transcendent living experience.