Japanese architecture firm MDS completed a cozy, energy-efficient countryside home for an elderly couple near the base of Japan’s Yatsugatake mountains. Arranged in a fan-shaped formation, the Yatsugatake Villa opens up to the south to bring generous amounts of natural light and warmth into the house. In contrast to the geometric and metal-clad facade, the interior of the home is dominated by warm-toned wood and rounded shapes that give the villa an organic feel.
Following traditional Japanese design principles, the Yatsugatake Villa design emphasizes a harmonious relationship with the surrounding natural environment. MDS used passive house techniques to provide a comfortable indoor environment that doesn’t rely on air conditioning or heating for the summer and winter months. The south-facing rooms bring warmth and light into the home, while the windows placed on the south and north facades invite cross-breezes that cool and ventilate the villa.
The home’s fan-like spatial arrangement was also developed to optimize the indoor thermal environment and create a diversity of views out towards the countryside and mountains. Curved open doorways connect the various rooms, and a wooden staircase leads up from the main common areas on the ground floor to a study and bedroom space on the second floor. The villa was also designed with an accompanying garden, where the clients grow their vegetables.