Shimoda, Shizuoka 07.2001
The house is located 20m above Iritahama beach in Izu. The beach has been voted Japan's best beach for the last 3 years. The house commands a dramatic 270 degree panoramic view of the sea and coastline. A heavily wooded hill forms the backdrop to the site.
The site is in a national park where the planning rules dictated a pitch roof. The site is also long and narrow, running along a steep slope. The house uses the full width of the site, but because of the slope 2/5 of the house had to be cantilevered out over the steeply falling land - quite a challenge on a sand bluff!
image view that shows the house windows when closed and open
image view that shows the house windows when opened
This area of Japan is regularly hit by strong typhoons so although there was a desire for all glass, there was a very practical need to protect the house in strong winds Ð wind blown debris being the main danger. Rather than toughening the glass, which is very costly, we use fibreglass to act as debris screens. The screens also act as sun shading, privacy screens and help contain the space within the house preventing it from feeling too open.