Panorama House: a contemporary retreat suspended between nature and design.

Reading time: minutes

In Japan, a contemporary villa overlooking the ocean rewrites the rules of architecture with surprising volumes and authentic materials.

This contemporary villa with a view of Mount Fuji designed by Ko Nakamura (Mosaic Design Inc.) conveys striking volumes and lightness.

Featuring an almost zoomorphic appearance, the structure is divided into three levels with different coverings that are each specially designed for their function: raised on three concrete legs/pillars, it appears suspended like a tree house to enjoy the best view.

Named Panorama House due to its large windows facing the ocean and Mount Fuji, which allow Japanese nature to enter the house, this villa reflects the most contemporary Japanese style with its minimalism and meticulous attention to the materials used, in total harmony with the exterior. 

Level 0 of the house – as mentioned above – consists of an open space bordered by pillars where the texture of the concrete is softened by the context: from here, you enter the house through a parallelepiped made of pine wood, a material that echoes the exterior of the top floor.

From a design perspective, the house is ‘inverted’: the first level houses the sleeping area, characterised by a concrete exterior that acts as a protective shell for the house’s most intimate space. Inside, the floor and walls are entirely covered with OSB panels with the texture in full view to pay tribute to the deliberately ‘unfinished’ appearance and therefore authenticity of the material.

However, it is on the third and final level that this home fully reveals the designer’s focus on materials: this is where the living area is located, a panoramic open-plan space with a pitched ceiling overlooking the ocean. On the outside, the volume is entirely clad in natural pine wood, with a ‘cantilevered’ covered terrace, almost simulating an animal’s head.

The living area and terrace are linked by the use of a single floor covering to create continuity and perfect harmony between outside and inside: the concrete-effect porcelain stoneware collection realized specifically for the project, in the 75×75 cm size and Petrolio finish with an almost ‘lava’ appearance to recall the volcanic context and natural elements that surround the villa.

This collection is distinguished both by its high-performance characteristics that protect against wear and tear, as well as against the weather, and by its expressive qualities that vary depending on the chosen shade, each highlighting certain characteristics, such as the iridescent reflections of metal, the wear of resin or the timeworn appearance of terracotta.

The Petrolio finish with its intense pigmentation and almost ‘worn’ effect chosen for this project perfectly dialogues with the rest of the materials such as the pine wood framing the windows and the Wood Fiber Cement panels lining the interior of the entire third level, a special highly sustainable material with thermal and acoustic insulation properties.


Photo credits: Kazutaka Fujimoto