Manazuru, Kanagawa, Japan
- Mount Fuji Architects Studio
- Manazuru, Kanagawa, Japan
Near the base of the Manazuru Peninsula, on a hilly topography that slopes toward the south, the site is located where the hill's inclination eases to form a shoulder. Beyond the enclosing greenery composed mainly of broadleaf trees, the expanse of the Pacific Ocean quietly extends to the horizon. The client’s request was for a guesthouse for the family and friends to spend their weekends together.
To construct something in such a rich natural setting, it seemed inappropriate to utilize an urban-style, strictly self-contained order. What became a useful reference was to think of the family's enthusiasm for beachcombing. By taking a variety of materials washed upon the shore and heeding their individual voices and characteristics, the materials come together logically into a form expressing how they hope to be. In this instance, an order is not an absolute dictate but rather a dynamic and supple state that that continuously adjusts through considering the relationship between materials and environment. The goal was such a type of ‘open order’.
Specifically, a column and beam structure made of 38 mm-thick LVL aligned in 830 mm span is made into ‘L-shaped wall and roof’ units that are formed by supporting them with natural wooden beams and columns trimmed on both sides. These units were prepared in three different scales: large, middle and small. By positioning them so that each partially overlaps with the others, the varying internal and external heights give birth to terraces and irregular corners in different locations. The positions and angles were not determined conceptually by a strict geometry, but rather scaled in reference to a variety of specific influences, such as the landscape’s natural contour lines and sightlines to the sea, the location and canopy of existing trees, the voices of the materials expressed through their volume, texture and density, and consideration of the balance between fluidity and solidity of space. Thus the form was determined through a process of adjusting these factors in order to bring them into mutual harmony.
In the completed living space, there is no stiffness resulting from the imposition of a strict order, but there is a close ‘harmony’ arising from all the various elements coming together as if engaged in a mutual dialogue. Because the order adopted in the structure itself is taken from the open personality of the surrounding environment, this dialogue extends to the surrounding natural environment of sea, forest and contour and extends without border. To experience a connection to the world with this type of ‘serene harmony’ seems to be our design purpose.