Oiso Hillside: A Villa That Embraces Its Environment

Krista Drumeva Watanabe's Award-Winning Design Merges Architecture with Nature

Designed by Krista Drumeva Watanabe, the Oiso Hillside is a residential villa that seamlessly integrates with its surrounding landscape. The design, inspired by the land's unique features, has been recognized with a Silver A' Architecture, Building and Structure Design Award in 2023.

The Oiso Hillside's design is a testament to the power of nature as a source of inspiration. The villa's layout follows the undulating terrain, resulting in a multi-level structure that offers varied perspectives of the surrounding mountains and hills. The kitchen, dining area, living room, and deck are all located on the first floor, yet each stands on a different level, creating a dynamic spatial experience.

What sets the Oiso Hillside apart is its commitment to respecting the land it occupies. Rather than leveling the ground for construction, the design adapts to the terrain, resulting in a series of skipped floors, a soaring two-story ceiling over a sunken conversation area, and a three-tiered deck. The interior is dominated by soft materials like wood, with a few antique pieces adding a unique accent to the design.

The villa's realization was made possible through the use of a Safety Engineering (SE) structure, a Japanese Seismic-Resistant Method that employs a wooden rigid-frame structure. This technique allowed for the creation of an open concept space that would typically require a high-cost steel structure. The villa spans 138 square meters, excluding the workshop and parking space, with an additional 70 square meters of deck area.

The Oiso Hillside is more than just a residence; it's a space that fosters a deep connection with nature. The design's dynamic spaces mirror the tranquility of the outdoors, creating a serene environment that can be enjoyed from every corner of the house. The villa was designed to function as a residence, office, and workshop, with each space distinct yet interconnected.

Located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, the Oiso Hillside was realized between fall 2020 and spring 2022. The design process involved extensive research on the site, focusing on making the villa seismic-resistant and landslide-resistant. The result is a structure that not only respects its environment but also enhances it, offering a compelling space that flows with the scenery.

The Oiso Hillside is a testament to the power of design that respects and integrates with its environment. Its award-winning design showcases the remarkable expertise and innovation of its designer, Krista Drumeva Watanabe, and serves as an inspiring example of architecture that harmonizes with nature.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Krista Watanabe
Image Credits: Photography by Nacasa and Partners
Project Team Members: Krista Watanabe
Project Name: Oiso Hillside
Project Client: Krista Watanabe

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