Shigeru Ban - Villa works

Shigeru Ban
Villas, Experimental Houses, and Future prototypes



Over the years, Shigeru Ban's works have showcased a distinct architectural philosophy that revolves around sustainability, innovation, and the integration of aesthetic and functional elements. His dedication to designing environmentally-friendly structures has earned him global recognition, including the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. Among his various designs, the Villa type of architecture serves as an ideal setting for architectural practices and the conservation of "architectural inventions".

Ban's philosophy is deeply rooted in the belief that architecture should respond to the needs of people and the environment. He emphasizes the importance of sustainable design, using recycled materials, and minimizing waste production. Ban's experimental houses and Villa works exemplify his commitment to these principles, as they often utilize unconventional materials such as cardboard, paper, and bamboo. By exploring new possibilities and challenging traditional architectural norms, Ban demonstrates that sustainable design can be achieved without compromising aesthetics or functionality.
The Villa type of architecture perfectly embodies Ban's philosophy. Villas traditionally refer to luxurious and spacious residences located in scenic environments. Ban, however, redefines this concept by creating contemporary Villas that combine the elegance of traditional designs with modern interpretations. These Villas serve as innovative architectural laboratories where Ban experiments with new techniques, materials, and spatial configurations.
The Villa type of architecture, as exemplified by Ban's works, offers an ideal platform for architectural experimentation and conversation. The versatility and freedom provided by Villas allow architects to explore unconventional ideas and push the boundaries of technology and innovation; Villa Vista is a good example. 

Here are some highly regarded Search Guide, focusing on Shigeru Ban's Villa projects:

1. "Shigeru Ban: The Architect Bringing Sustainable Design to Disaster Zones"; exploring Shigeru Ban's innovative use of materials and his approach to designing sustainable and disaster-resistant villas.

2. "Shigeru Ban’s Masterful Villas: Built Spaces That Reflect Nature"; delving into Shigeru Ban's villa projects that seamlessly blend with their natural surroundings, highlighting his use of natural materials and sustainable design principles.

3. "Shigeru Ban: A Starchitect Shaping the Future of Sustainable Villas"; focusing on Shigeru Ban's passion for sustainability and highlights some of his notable villa projects around the world.

4. "Shigeru Ban: The Pritzker Prize-Winning Architect's Remarkable Villa Designs"; exploring Shigeru Ban's unique approach to designing villas, with an emphasis on spatial efficiency, innovative structural systems, and his use of sustainable materials.

5. "Shigeru Ban's Villa Vista: An Architectural Masterpiece in Harmony with Nature"; showcasing Shigeru Ban's Villa Vista project, highlighting its contemporary design and its seamless integration with the surrounding landscape.

These guidelines lead to insightful information on Shigeru Ban's villa projects, his design philosophy, and his commitment to sustainability.

Shigeru Ban Villa


Shigeru Ban Architects

Paper House / 紙の家

Yamanakako Village, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan / 山梨県山中湖村

An S-shape configuration comprised of 110 paper tubes (2.7m high, 275mm in diameter and 148mm thick) defines the interior and exterior areas of the paper house. This was the first project in which paper tubes were authorized for use as a structural basis in a permanent building. Ten paper tubes support the vertical load and the eighty interior tubes bear the lateral forces. The cruciform wooden joints in the bases of the columns are anchored to the foundation by lug screws and cantilevered from the floor. The large circle formed by the interior tubes forms a big area. A freestanding paper tubes column with a 1.2m diameter in the surrounding gallery contains a toilet. The exterior paper tubes surrounding the courtyard stand apart from the structure and serve as a screen. The living area in the large circle is without furnishing or detail other than an isolated kitchen counter, sliding doors, and movable closets. When the perimeter sashes are opened, the roof, supported by the colonnade of paper tubes, is visually emphasized and a spatial continuity is created between the surrounding gallery space and the outdoor terrace.


Paper House

This villa employs Ban’s signature recycled paper tubes for the primary structure, and is a recreation of a villa built in 1995 on Lake Yamanaka. A rhythmical S-shaped array of 110 paper tubes frames an airy space in which light spills through gaps between the columns. The S-shape of paper tubes also envelops an open-air bath.


Nagano, Japan

This sloping site is divided in half by a stream, and at the center of the site sits a huge stone kiln. These elements were regarded as important contextual and regional characteristics, and the client wished to preserve them. The spatial composition also includes a stone wall with a small opening at its center on the north facade that provides a view of the kiln. The wall follows the curves in the stream and defined the interior spaces. Another wall, made of Canadian red cedar, extends and connects to the other side of the stream. All circulation routes such as stairs and corridors are placed along this wall. A third wall, forming a brick cylinder containing a kitchen, a bathroom, and a fireplace, is the functional core of the house.


VILLA K/ ヴィラ K

Nagano, Japan

Photo Credit: Hiroyuki Hirai

「VILLA TCG」と同様、「3枚の壁」によって構成されている。まず背後の山の力を分散させるような円弧状の壁によって空間を限定し、そこにサーキュレーションが配された直線の壁を挿入している。シリンダー状の3枚目の壁にはキッチンやパスルームが納められ、これがプラン上のすべての操作の中心になっている。

This villa is composed of three walls, similar to the villa TCG. One wall, circular, defines the interior space, to which the second-linear-wall is added, defining circulation routes (stairs and a bridge). The third wall is configured as a cylindrical core that forms the service, kitchen, and the bathroom spaces. The center of the cylinder is also the core of the design. The site is relatively flat, but the beautiful mountain scenery is partially blocked from view by the surrounding dense forest. For this reason, the entrance is built on views of the mountains. The three walls and the triangular roof are clearly articulated. The effect is emphasized by natural light streaming in through the glazed openings between the walls and roof. The large window of the living room is aligned with one side of the triangular roof, framing the view the mountain to the east.


Tokyo, Japan

Photo Credit: Hiroyuki Hirai


Situated in a quiet residential area of Tokyo, the site is portioned from a triangular plot surrounded by two roads and a river. The spatial composition is based on the same concept seen in Three Walls House, but modified a little here. The walls are self-standing, including an L-shaped wall which defines the interior space, a circular core which houses the kitchen and bathroom functions, and a triangular glass-block enclosure at one corner of the site. A square-shaped core housing a fireplace and the circular core support the horizontal roof. On the second floor is an open living room with a high ceiling-as requested by the client. This attangement provides the living room with a level of privacy and a clear view across the river.

VILLA TORII/ ヴィラ トリイ

Nagano, Japan

Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai


This villa has walls on the east and west sides, leaving the north and south elevations entirely exposed to the landscape, resulting in a space that successfully harmonizes interior and exterior. The two parallel walls, conceived as blinds, are the chief structural elements here, and are designed to stand by themselves without any additional walls or braces. Laminated wood girders are fastened on top of these two walls at 875mm intervals. The unique structural method uses steel rods in a guy wire-like configuration to anchor the structure to the ground while tensioning the laminated wood beams and balancing the loads on the roof, wall and floor structure. Except for the two main walls, other elements are designed as free-form curved planes of mansonry which are arranged so as not to come in contact with the two linear walls.

I HOUSE/ I ハウス

Tokyo, Japan

Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai


This square building is placed at a 45-degree angle to the property line to ensure a good view to the south. To make the second floor living room fully open to the landscape on the north and south sides and to private proper ventilation, two wooden walls are set parallel to each other on the east and west sides. In order to make these two walls stand by themselves and resist the lateral stresses without the need for bracing or supporting walls they, along with the steel folded plate roof structure, are tensioned by steel rods anchored to the ground outside. In this project, the folded plate roof is given a tensile function. The interior's structural plywood is used as a finishing material as well as bracing, providing that a single material can bear two functions at once to help promote low-cost construction.


Nagano, Japan

Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai


Located at 1570 meters above sea level, near Nagano, the site slopes down at a 20-degree angle to the southeast and has a sweeping view of the surrounding mountains; a primary goal of the design process was to find the best way of framing the magnificent panorama. The overall composition consists of a cylindrical core of 3.7 meters in diameter, containing a bathroom and the kitchen; a square core holding the bedrooms; and a wall running parallel to the adjacent road. The two core structures bear the perpendicular loads and resists the lateral stresses as a cantilever. The floor slab is cantilevered 4.5 meters from the centerline of the building. The single-pitch roof which follows the slope of the site is supported by two laminated-wood beams fixed on top of the cores. The linear wall, roughly finished in masonry, is separate from the roof structure. This wall symbolically expresses the idea that the house will take root into soil and into the natural setting. In addition, it also represents the dramatic effects of opening up the living room to the panoramic views of the mountains - in contrast to the effect at the road level, where the views are completely obstructed.

PC Pile House / PCパイルの家

Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan / 静岡県裾野市

This house doubles as a studio for a photographer, built on a steeply sloping site which rises up from the road at a 45-degree angle. The client desired the maximum degree of transparency within a limited budget. A structural system was devised that used 300mm posts of pre-cast concrete to directly support the roof and floor slabs. The floor slab, at 9 meters above the ground, is made from laminated I-shaped wooden structures (10 meters long, spaced at a pitch of 5.5 meters), which rest on the surface of pairs of girders which connect the front and the rear precast concrete piles. The piles penetrate through the building introducing a visual contrast to the white floors and ceiling, which frame the views of the landscape. The south and east sides are fully open to the views with the use of glazed doors, and the north and the west sides are fitted with a double layer of translucent poly-carbonated panels.


Yamanashi, Japan, 1993


This is a private weekend retreat built on a sloping site overlooking Lake Yamanaka where snowfall often exceeds 900mm in the winter. The house required a roof that could accommodate these heavy snow loads. The double-roof structure could be incorporated on a restricted budget since there was no need for an intensive structural framework. In this scheme the upper roof structure is separated from the ceiling, and its primary structural function is to bear the weight of the snow. To accomplish this, folded steel plates of the minimum allowable dimensions were used. Since the ceiling is not suspended from the roof, it is freed of the deflection margin, and thus the ceiling becomes a second roof with a minimal load. In addition, the upper roof provides shelter against direct sun during the summer. Square sectioned steel pipes are utilized as support beams for the corrugated metal roof. Other structural elements below the roof are made of wood. An exterior covered terrace connects the large living/dining/kitchen area to the bedroom and bathroom, the floor level of which is lowered to correspond the topography of the site. The rooftop level above the bedroom is a terrace with a view toward the lake.



Tokyo, Japan

Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai


This long rectangular site (9 meters by 19 meters), with its short side fronting on the road, has an elevated ground level of 2 meters. There is a large cherry tree which designated to be preserved at the south corner of the site. The work space for the dentist is located in the basement level and the living quarters are distributed on the first and the second floors. The rectangular floor plan (7.6 meters by 18 meters) is divided lengthwise into two parts-the southern half to be used as exterior space and the other half as interior space-and all the rooms are aligned in the longitudinal direction to share the view of cherry tree with every room. The client wanted reinforced concrete construction for his house, but since the poor ground condition would have required pile foundations, and in view of the resulting issues of cost and the limited construction period, this type of construction could not be used. The building was made as light as possible using the minimum amount of reinforced concrete construction and with the floors construction in wood. The concrete portions of the structure include the two parallel walls which define the front and rear sides of the house (18 meters apart) and the circular core structure-with laminated wood joints spanning between these concrete elements. With the minimum use of solid walls, the sense of spatial openness is optimized by the use of glazed walls. A 3-story-high ivy-covered screen which defines the southern boundary ensures the required privacy and allows ventilation and filtered natural light. On the north facade the glazed openings are fitted with hollow polycarbonate panels filled with granulated styrofoam.


Tokyo, Japan, 1995


The house is intended to be a reflection of the owner's lifestyle. It is open to the outdoors and utilizes contemporary materials in new interpretations of traditional Japanese styles. Wide deck spaces are attached to the east and south sides of the second-floor living room and tent-like curtains are hung on the outer facade between the second and third floors. Interior conditons are controlled by opening and closing this Japanese-style "curtain wall". In winter, a set of glazed doors (in combination with the curtain) can completely enclose the house for insulation and privacy. This thin membrane takes the place of shoji and sudare screens, and fusuma doors that appear in the traditional Japanese house.



Nagano, Japan, 1997


The house is built on a sloping site, and in order to minimize the excavation work the rear half of the house is dug into the ground, the excavated earth being used as fill for the front half, creating a level floor. The floor surface at the embedded rear part of the house curls up to meet the roof, naturally absorbing the imposed load of the earth. The roof is flat and is fixed rigidly to the upturned slab freeing the 3 columns at the front from any horizontal loads. As a result of bearing only vertical loads these columns could be reduced to a minimum 55 mm in diameter. In order to express the structural concept as purely as possible all the walls and mullions have been purged leaving only sliding panels. Spatially, the house consists of a ‘universal floor’ on which the kitchen, bathroom and toilet are all placed without enclosure, but which can be flexibly partitioned by the sliding doors.

斜面に位置するこの住宅は、後部山側の床スラブを曲線状に屋根までめくり上げることで背後の土圧を自然に受け、床スラブに流している。さらに水平な屋根面の後辺は床スラブの頂点と完全に固定することにより、すべての水平力を床スラブに流し、全面に唯一ある3本の柱は、全く水平力を負担せず、鉛直力のみ負担する。形態のアーティキュレートにとどまらず、構造システムも完全に アーティキュレートしている。

Hanegi Forest / 羽根木の森

Setagaya, Tokyo / 東京都世田谷区

What was required was to build an apartment house without cutting down any of the existing trees in a quiet residential district in Tokyo, while at the same time staying within a restricted budget. A grid of regular triangles (4 meters to a side) was found as a system which can ensure structural stability while providing adequately-sized living areas even with the arbitrary cut-offs of columns, beams, and girders. This system also provides horizontal rigidity and a structure which allows free spatial composition with proper cantilevering of the floor slabs, even when the spaces around the trees are hollowed out in circular or oval shapes. Each apartment unit is built in a terrace-house style which occupies the floors from the first to the third. This style makes fireproof construction unnecessary between floor and makes it possible to expose real structural system. It also provides the inhabitants with views of the natural setting at various levels.


Nine Grid Square House


Hadano City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan / 神奈川県秦野市

The furniture units of the "furniture house" were made of steel studs. That system can be improved upon, however. For example, it makes possible a simpler and less noisy assembly process on site, avoids condensation by adding urethane-foam insulation during production process, and eliminates annoying vibration. The spatial composition combines the systems of two walls and a Universal Floor. A large square floor space, 10.4 meters to a side, can be partitioned by full-height sliding doors into nine square areas. These sliding doors allow a variety of spatial arrangements, adjustable to accommodate seasonal or functional needs.



Tokyo, Japan, 1998

アイビー・ストラクチャー 1

The property is a long piece of land (9 meters wide and 24 meters deep) that stretches from the east to the west. Because its neighbors’ houses are built right next to the edges of the property, the land looks smaller than its actual size of 214.48 square meters. It is located in a residential area with no particular character (plain taste) but the closely-built neighbors’ houses create an environment that makes the residents conscious of the eyes of their neighbors. Thus, the themes of the design of this house are to make full use of the land and to provide the three-generation family of five members with an atmosphere of openness.
First, in order to use the land effectively, the property is divided into the southern half as an outside block and the northern half as an inside block. All the four individual rooms and the two bathrooms are placed on the second floor of the northern block, and the entire first floor is used as a large common space. I try to make this common space look as though it stretches into the outside space in the north by reducing the numbers of walls and posts, in order to create a “universal floor.”
Second, a new idea has been applied for the construction method. This involves having the interior structure depend on the exterior, like the usage of flying buttresses in Gothic architecture, to free the interior space and its edges as much as possible. But instead of merely putting the structure up externally we combined it with its original external functions. In order to prevent sight lines from the house on the southern side and from the interior of our house, a wall with two layers of ivy screen was created along the south border. For this, a strong structure was necessary as the ivy screen would be of great height, supporting two layers of ivy able to withstand large winds as had been experienced in the “House of a Dentist”. Solutions for these problems were thus found by imposing the vertical and lateral load of the main building on the ivy screen. To carry out this idea, I imposed the southern half of the second floor of the northern block on the ivy screen. Furthermore, by hanging the second floor, the need for the posts between the common room on the first floor and the outside space is eliminated, thus successfully creating a larger open space.
Another attempt was also made to create a semi-interior space externally by shielding external light with a mobile membrane. In the “House of a Curtain Wall”, curtains were hung on the outer edge of a terrace to control the sunlight, to protect the residents’ privacy, and to produce a semi-interior space. In the “Hanegi Forest,” outside blinds were used. With this house, the large beam that the second floor is hung from works as a rail for the membrane that covers the roof and the exterior space in the south. The membrane over the southern exterior space is an important device for shielding the sunlight from the southern glass as well as the semi-interiorization of the exterior space. In addition, the membrane over the roof has a double roof effect that prevents the sun from warming up the house in summer.
Iron frames are the basis of this building in materializing the ideas mentioned above. Walls that function as furniture (to which furniture is attached) are built on the east, north and west sides. These walls produce a closed feeling towards the neighbors, in contrast to the open feeling that the glass wall creates on the southern side.



Tokyo, Japan

Photo: Hiroyuki Hirai

Learning from our experience with the single file continuous wall that could only withstand shear forces on the edge, we attempted to abbreviate the usage of rug-screws by using them between the two edges of the wall and by replacing the edge rug-screws with hold-down joints that bind the beam with the ground. To increase the capacity of insulation, we used the fact that the furniture was manufactured in a factory as an advantage and inserted foam urethane between the studs of the furniture’s interior.


Tokyo, Japan, 2000

アイビー・ストラクチャー 2 

There are two meanings inherent in Ivy Structure 2.  The first and direct meaning is that of the surrounding ivy wall, which functions both as an exterior screen and as an important structural unit for the main architecture itself.  The second and very special characteristic of this architecture is that it is elicited by depending on the usage of an entirely different structure, that of the ivy plant itself.
As an introduction to previous steps leading to this work, there is “Ivy Structure 1”.  The interior space on the first floor has no columns, freeing the whole of a lengthy yard to have a spacious feeling.  Half of the two-layered, gate-shaped steel frame was composed to structure the frame for the ivy screen, while the second floor was thought to be structurally hung from that point. 
The site for our plan for Ivy Structure 2 is adjacent to a large restaurant building on one side and a condominium block on the other.  There is an embassy at the rear, and the road in front of the site runs along a slope at an angle that creates a special form for the site.  At this location, a simple 13m equilateral glass cube structure (170 square meters) from the basement to the third floor was placed parallel to the road.  By placing the ivy screens around the three sides in the line of sight, other buildings that are not meant to be seen are shut out, and privacy is thus secured to a certain degree. 
As a simple four-layered cube, this structure can have various uses, such as a residential house, office, or gallery.  This was intended because there was a demand for a plan that did not have structural regulations, thereby allowing for future changes.  Hence, to equally distribute the space metal-framed circular columns were first placed in a grid pattern by dividing the 13m equilateral square into 9 smaller equilateral squares.  In order to increase the freedom of the plan, the brace and the bearing walls were abolished.  To avoid the usage of a thick rigid frame that would decide the grid, and to avoid as much stress on the round columns from lateral forces as possible, the four corners of the terrace and the frame from the 9-square-grid were connected by the ivy screen’s frame in a flying buttress fashion derived from Gothic architecture.  Because of this, the radii of the round columns were minimized, becoming thinner as the column grew higher. Pair-glass was used as the standard on all surfaces, and an Italian cladding with a simple section was used for the glass cube.  The southern and western side has exterior blinds to block sunlight, and water is stored in a shallow pool on the roof to create insulation during the summer.   


Veneer Grid Roof House / べニア三角格子の家

Isumi-gun, Chiba Prefecture, Japan / 千葉県夷隅郡

A triangular-gird structure of paper honeycomb boards is currently being developed for the Japanese Pavilion at Hannover’s World Fair in year 2000. This house’s roof was made with triangular grids, not in paper honeycomb but in veneer for structural purpose, applying the same aluminium joint under development.
The site is comparatively vast, full of greenery: an ideal place to create a ‘universal’ space of a single-storied house. The lack of traffic facilities was a major problem, making it hard to travel between the site and the Metropolitan area in a frequent manner, nor had we an acquaintance of a good, reliable contractor in the vicinity. The system, which consists of manufacturing equilateral triangular units of 90 cm-module with a side of 2.7 m and assembling them on the spot, seemed to fit the kind of construction where distance was in question, as it was the case here. The structure supporting the roof was composed of closets, in line with the idea of ‘house of furniture', taking care of vertical and horizontal forces, and metal frames for sliding doors, to take care of vertical forces at points of importance.
The main building, an equilateral triangle with a side of 16.2m, was connected to the rhombic roof of 9.0 m a side accommodating the home office and the guestroom, by means of a triangular-gird roof. Glass sliding doors arranged on every side add flexibility to the size of space control to the environment according to the climate and the occupants’ needs.


Picture Window House / ピクチャーウインドウの家

Ito, Shizuoka / 静岡県伊東市

A gentle hill continues up from the ocean's edge, and near its peak isthe location of the site; a place that, amazingly in Japan, is uncluttered by any unsightly distractions. The first time I set foot on the site, my immediate response was to frame the wonderful view of the ocean stretching horizontally. That is to say that the building itself should become a picture window. Also, to prevent the architecture from becoming an obstacle disrupting the natural sense of flow from the ocean, I've thought of maintaining that continuity by passing it through the building up to the woods at the top of the hill. Thus, the whole upper storey became a truss spanning 20 meters, and below, a 20 meter by 2.5 meter picture window was created.


Great Wall at Shui Guan, China

The project site on the mountain overlooking the Great Wall of China was rather wild than sophisticated. When I first stood on this site, I envisioned a small one-story house surrounding a quite courtyard much like the vernacular style of Chinese houses.
On the way back from the site, I visited the town outside of Beijing where a number of material suppliers array their shops, in the hope of finding building materials for the project that are specific to China. Perhaps because hardly any wood structures are used for construction in China today, available lumber types were limited, and I could not even find any structural plywood. What caught my eyes instead was a kind of plywood in the color of blood. By having a closer look, I discovered that it was a lamination of thin strips of bamboo woven into sheets. I was told that this bamboo plywood was used typically for concrete framework. If bamboo could be made into plywood, I though, then it would be possible to laminate strips of bamboo into building lumber.
Until then, I had not been much interested in bamboo, which has been used for many years in Asia and South America as building material. The reason was that no architect has succeeded in using bamboo as primary building structure in contemporary architecture, other than a Columbian architect Simon Velez who has poured concrete inside of bamboo tubes to make structural element.
Other fact to consider into design was that the construction administration of the project would be handled by the client themselves due to the project’s remote site and its limited budget. To minimize the weight on construction administration, I decided to make my “furniture house” system which is a pre-fabricated modularized building system I have been developing for some years, out of the bamboo laminated lumber. The laminated bamboo was used for the unit framing system and beams as well as interior and exterior finish.



Tokyo, Japan, 2003


This project is built for a photographer and his family as a residence and a photographer studio. It belongs to a series of buildings realized with shutters. The land is about three times as long as wide, extending from East to West and surrounded by a private house on the North, a three-storey building on the South, an embassy compound on the East and an apartment building across the street.
The house is organized on a tartan grid that creates a sequence of spaces alternating exterior and interior. The use of industrial shutters instead of usual glass partitions allows for a full physical as well as visual continuity between exterior and interior spaces, connecting them together in one instant. The sizes of spaces vary with the number of grid modules combined in correspondence to the program. The smallest module, besides acting as a structural core, is also a vertical circulation between the interior floors starting from the basement floor and leading to the roof terrace. This variety of sizes also exists in section: single height space (dining, kitchen, bedrooms), double height space (living room), existing either as interior space or as exterior space (courtyard, garden, roof terrace). The exterior greenery screen surrounding the house on all sides as well as the interior gardens and courtyards allow for some privacy from the neighboring homes.



Tokyo, Japan, 2004


In order to guarantee sufficient parking space at the ground level, the one story high steel frame structure of the annex is lifted up over the ground. The four entry stairs extend out to all directions, simultaneously acting as bracing. The annex’s most prominent feature is its self-supporting arched roof made of folded plate structure.



Fukushima, Japan, 2006

社員寮 H

The site for the ‘Company Dormitory’ is located next to the ‘Residence in Iwaki in Fukushima Prefecture of Northeastern Honshu, Japan. The program is 23 single-room apartments and a guest room, a common area, and parking spaces for all residents. The parti is defined with parking spaces and the common area on the first floor, and all? residential spaces on the second floor. The structure is organized by two Vierendeel trusses arranged in parallel that support a series of secondary trusses that make up a rhythm of walls. The second floor volume floats above on only 8 columns and creates a very open atmosphere for the common area below. The common area consists of open living and dining areas, adjacent to a full-size kitchen and a private meeting space. The glass enclosed space is has a ten panel sliding glass door which opens out to a covered terrace and private gardenscape. The apartments are playfully arranged at the outer edge of the large rectangular volume to create a series of interior courtyards of varying sizes as private community spaces that are shared by the residents.



Iwaki, Japan, 2006

メゾン E

This 1200 square meter private residence planned for a family of two generations is located on the high plane of a series of tiered properties, and overlooks the ‘Company Dormitory’ to the rolling mountain ranges spreading across the horizon. The house borders a busy thoroughfare and a quiet residential district so the residence is planned to be inward-looking and private with various internal gardens and courtyards while maintaining the extraordinary views from the second floor. The plan is based on a tartan grid of small and large squares which creates a natural pattern for living spaces and circulation spaces and interior and exterior spaces. The grid is comprised from a steel structure of cruciform-shaped columns.



Long Island, USA


The Sagaponac House is based on the plan of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s unbuilt Brick Country House (1924), reinterpreted according to program, structure and site. An improved version of the prefabricated Furniture House system was employed. The corners are reinforced with triangular plywood pieces to bear horizontal and vertical loads and to prevent buckling.



Shizuoka, 2008


This site is located on the slope in the north side of villa area in South Hakone. The scenery of the north side is rare because of its opening to look over Mt.Fuji without being almost distributed by any other houses in the fine day. On the other hand, looking at a variety of houses whose shapes and colors are unique in other sides of the site, we are instantly pulled back to Japanese reality by a sense of relief blessed with nature. Standing in the site, in order not to allow people to look at east, west and south sides, the idea that the crescent-shaped plan which opens up to north corresponding to the site and the cross section which looks like the "C" character( the "U" character which falls down) naturally comes up to mind right away.
In the crescent-shaped plan, two bedrooms and LDK(Living, Dining and Kitchen) are arranged by putting furniture and volumes of utility facilities as partitions.
The center of the crescent-shaped plan has a huge cantilevered roof since the cross section of that area is the deepest because of used as a living area. Although a column became necessary in order to prevent the roof from bending, a chimney of fireplace is used instead of it.



Tokyo, 2009


This was a design project for a wooden house in Tokyo. In response to conditions of the site, located next to a park and shrine with a big cherry tree, gently curved laminated lumber, to accommodate road setback restrictions, served as columns and beams for the main structure and created wide open space. The design of a spiral staircase, a movable door attached to the staircase, and a desk whose top boards were also used as partitions for open ceiling space were repeatedly studied. Students engaged in the design and construction process through the study of the movable door and desk from various perspectives such as materials and construction methods.



Fukushima, Japan, 2009


The site for the house is on typical developed land, with an alleyway to the south and a highway to the north, just an ordinary rectangular plot of land. With no particularly special views outward to capture, the volume of the hipped roof is extended to the perimeter of the site, and an interior courtyard is created to enhance the connectivity between inside and outside. Rather than placing a rectangular courtyard within the rectangular volume and creating four distinct interior zones along each face, an elliptical courtyard is introduced to achieve a fluid continuity of interior spaces. Furthermore, by slightly rotating the elliptical courtyard, spaces with unique and different qualities emerge between the courtyard and rectangular volume.

敷地は典型的な造成地に、南側の宅地内道路と北側の交通量が多い幹線道路に挟まれた、何の変哲もない長方形の土地である。これといった特色も見るべき景色といったコンテクストもまったくない。そこにあえて寄せ棟屋根のヴォリュームを置き、中にコートヤードをつくることにより、内外の関連を積極的にもたせることにした。 長方形の中に四角いコートヤードをつくると、四辺に四つの別々なゾーンができてしまう。それよりは全体の内部空間が流動的に連続するように、楕円のコートヤードを、少し角度を振って配置することにより、長方形と楕円の間に質の違う空間が生まれるようにした。


New Orleans, USA, 2009


Hurricane Katrina, which occurred in August 2005, caused enormous damage to the City of New Orleans. In December 2007, the Make It Right Foundation, founded by the actor Brad Pitt, approached a number of world renowned architects to design homes that would rebuild the Lower Nine Ward, an area most devastated by the flooding and whose inhabitance had no money to rebuild. This charitable project was aimed at creating low cost, mass producible, "safe houses". Homes were placed on piles and designed to withstand future storms and flooding. This building, Furniture House 6, integrated prefab Furniture Units with tradition vernacular of New Orleans' Shotgun House typology.

2005年8月に発生した大型ハリケーン「カトリーナ」がニューオリンズに甚大な被害をもたらした。2007年12月に俳優ブラッド・ピットらが財団を設立し、進めてたハリケーン被災者用エコ住宅建設プロジェクトの1つが「Make It Right」である。このプロジェクトは、低コストで大量生産可能な「安全な家」をつくることを目的とし、今後の嵐や洪水に耐えるように設計された。

Quinta Botanica 

Algarve, Portugal, 2009


Owned by an art and plant collector, Quinta Botanica overlooks the ocean from a cliff in Algarve, the southernmost region of Portugal. The structure acts as an artistic installation and temporary residence for visiting artists and botanists on the premises. Quinta Botanica is structurally identical to the Paper House (1995), the first permanent paper structure that was granted approval under Article 38 of the Japanese Building Standards Act. Wooden joints and paper tubes fixed with lag bolts comprise the foundation, creating a system capable of withstanding vertical loads and lateral force. To avoid cutting down already-existing trees, its plan was designed to weave through them in an S-shape.

1999年にデザインしたポルトガルの小さな家がやっと完成した.南ポルトガルの小さな村まるまるアルガーブに隣 接する,海に面した崖の上の4ヘクタールの敷地には,美術品収集家であり植物収集家であるオーナーが,世界中から集めた400点ほどの美術作品 と5,000種ほどの植物,そして約1万冊の関係図書がコレクションされている.ここに,アーティス



Sri Lanka, 2010


After designing and building post-tsunami reconstruction houses in Sri Lanka, Shigeru Ban was commissioned to design a residence for an owner of a local tire company. Located on a hilltop site facing the ocean, the floor, walls and ceiling of this building frame three different views. The first is the view of the ocean seen from the jungle in the valley, framed perpendicularly by the external corridor from the existing house to this house and the roof. The next is the horizontal scenery of the ocean from the hilltop framed by the large roof supported by poles of 22 m span and the floor. The last is the view of the cliff which glows red during sunset; this is viewed through a square frame composed of 4 m solid wood in the main bedroom.
The large roof is first covered by light cement boards for water proofing and secondly covered by woven coconut leave material, which is often used for property fences not only to block the strong daylight but also to blend the building into the local ambience. The ceiling is composed of teak, 80mm wide and 3mm thick woven in a large wickerwork pattern.


VISTA - Tokyo, Japan, 2010

羽根木公園の家 - 景色の道 

The site is at the top of a slight hill, on the corner of an L-shaped street. Looking back down at the hill from the site, an uncommonly long and linear passage seemed to characterize this place most. If the view of the forest of Hanegi Park could be an integral part of the home, it could evoke the feeling of living in the forest itself. The opposite view of the residential street, however, seemed to be at odds with the natural greenery of the forest. In order to distinguish the two picture windows, two completely different were needed for the opposite views. A curved frame was installed for the window to the east, facing the long and linear street, softening its stark contrast to the forest. By installing a long, horizontal window, the views framed on the eastern side were separated into the sky and the street. A sharper frame for the window facing west was intended to act as an abstract aperture, so that the forest would appear as if it had been collaged onto a wall of the house.


Villa at Sengokubara


Hakone, Kanagawa, Japan / 神奈川県箱根町

The 2-storey wood structure residence is situated on a flag pole shaped site, 30m square in plan with a 15m diameter interior courtyard. With the main living room centered on the interior courtyard, all spaces are arranged in a radial manner from the entrance. The 8 sliding doors separating the main living room and interior courtyard can be opened at any time so that the space can be used as one. The structure is made up of wooden columns and beams, which are 75mm x 350mm L-shaped pieces, also arranged in a radial manner, creating a large one way sloped roof. The large roof varies in height, achieving ceiling heights between 2.4m to 7.5m.

旗竿敷地に建つ木造2階建ての住宅。敷地に対し、30m角の正方形の建物に直径15mの中庭を配置。その中庭を中心に居 室が配され、玄関から居室が放射状に配置しているのが見える。リビングは8枚引き戸を開け放つことにより、内外部が一体となり、中庭とリビングが一体として使える。柱と梁は木75 x 350のL字に組まれており、L字が放射状に配置され、大きな一枚の片流れ屋根を構成している。この一枚の大きな屋根は天井高さが2.4~7.45mまで 変化する。

Yakushima Takatsuka Lodge


Kagoshima, Japan / 鹿児島県屋久島町

Mountain hut built in the National park of Yakushima Island. The hut was rebuilt on the foundation of the old hut taken down of dilapidation. The Paper tube wall allows light to pour inside, by filling transparent tubes in-between. Paper tubes can be easily replaced if damaged overtime within the harsh environment of the mountains.


Solid Cedar House


Kobuchizawa, Hokuto, Yamanashi, Japan / 山梨県北杜市小淵沢町



Tokyo, Japan / 東京お台場

Photo Credit: Hiroyuki Hirai

House of Light and Shadow/光と翳の家

Tokyo, Japan/東京

Triangle House/三角の家


Bookshelf House
Yatsugatake, Japan / 八ヶ岳山麓

A new living room is added to a cottage at the foot of Yatsugatake. On the gable side of the existing villa which has a sloped roof, a rafter with the same slope is installed and forms a gabled roof, harmonizing with the existing cottage. The shelves in the addition serve as the structure that supports the rafters, and the exterior sheathing acts as lateral bracing. Random glass inserts in the shelves brings light through the wall. In contrast to the existing part of the cottage, the extension is an open space that can be fully opened so that the surrounding nature can be seena nd experienced.


REF: Shigeruban Website/ Editorial board of Villa Magazine

Renowned Japanese Architects and Artists to Participate in MA Exhibition in Iran

Tehran, Iran - SEP 1, 2023 - Villa Magazine is thrilled to announce the participation of a distinguished group of contemporary Japanese architects and artists in the upcoming third MA Exhibition, set to take place in Iran in 2023-2024. This exhibition serves as a tribute to the visionary architect Arata Isozaki, honoring his wish for this event before his passing.

The Villa Magazine's editorial board will be actively engaged in hosting insightful discourses, conducting interviews, and producing captivating documentaries featuring esteemed Japanese architects, artists, and professors. Renowned figures such as Ruye Sejima, Shigeru Ban, Jun Aoki, Watanabe, Riichi Miyake, and more will share their perspectives on the profound impact of the In-betweenness (MA) concept pioneered by Arata Isozaki. They will explore how this concept has fostered architectural innovations and stimulated meaningful conversations and cultural exchanges.

This collaboration between Villa Magazine, Archi-Depot Tokyo, and the Japan Foundation aims to delve into the transformative power of the MA concept and its role in shaping architectural landscapes and artistic expressions. By showcasing the works and ideas of these contemporary Japanese architects and artists, the MA Exhibition seeks to ignite dialogue, inspire creativity, and foster cultural exchange.

The MA Exhibition promises to be a landmark event, providing a platform for architects, artists, design enthusiasts, and the general public to immerse themselves in the visionary creations and insights of these esteemed Japanese participants. Villa Magazine invites everyone to mark their calendars and join this immersive architectural and artistic experience in Iran in 2023-2024.

For media inquiries, please contact: 

About Villa Magazine:
Focusing on Experimental Villa projects, Iconic/Solo houses, and Hidden/Lost/Forgotten single-family treasures, Villa Magazine is a leading publication dedicated to exploring and celebrating the world of architecture, design, and innovation. With a global audience of architects, artists, designers, and enthusiasts, Villa Magazine provides a platform for thought-provoking discussions, insightful interviews, and captivating visual content that inspires and informs.



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