Futuristic Design #2: The Shell House – Nagano
The shell house is one of the most extraordinary futuristic design homes in Japan. It is a 60-90 minute drive from Tokyo and covers 3,451 square feet in the woods of Karuizawa, Nagano. The 2-story vacation home was designed by Kotaro Ide which took 18 months of planning and 2.5 years to complete. The futuristic design aims not only to function as a getaway from the busy city but also provides an invigorating place for its occupants. This stunning home provides serenity, leisure and picturesque views which seem to never get dull.
Amidst its lush green environment the shell house blends gracefully to it’s surrounding with its smooth flowing and horizontal massing. Wide windows are found on each end of the extruded conch shell provides panoramic views of the forest while natural light flows freely through the interior through the skylight. A fir tree unifies the curves and concrete waves which is carved from the center of the structure.
The stunning house was intended to have minimal maintenance as a vacation home. Unlike most modern designs, the shell house has minimal use of sharp edges and instead two elliptical shell shape which takes on a j-shape was formed. Although it is more sustainable to use a material typical to that of the wood structure of villas in the locality, Ide explored the use of concrete instead which is more resistant to decay. The concrete design is able to withstand humid summers and cold winters of the region. Wood uln was used for the terraces around the home and is raised above the ground by 1400 mm which results in a floating effect to the structure.
A three button central control system allows the owners to manage the mechanical and electrical equipments. A biometric lockage and security system is also integrated into the ultra modern home for its security system.
A special furniture collection was also designed to complement the concept of the house. One of the unique customized interior elements of the structure is the rounded fireplace dropping from the ceiling.