Karuizawa, Japan – HDHP, a social enterprise sponsored by HDH Capital Management, is pleased to announce the appointment of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Ryue Nishizawa for its second Shishi-Iwa House project, set to open in 2021. Similar to the first retreat designed by fellow master architect Shigeru Ban, the project aims to provide guests a sanctuary to reconnect with families and friends and to inspire intellectual creativity. Shishi-Iwa House by Ryue Nishizawa will be a seminal architectural masterpiece, paying homage to traditional Japanese residential architecture based on the shaku-kan grid system, hinoki cypress wood and garden courtyards. Nishizawa will be responsible for both architecture and interiors, allowing a coherent and integrated approach to the design.
With a focus on sustainability and human scale, the retreat is designed as a cluster of 10 interconnected pavilions using locally-sourced hinoki cypress as the main building material. Hinoki cypress is considered a “sacred” wood in Japan as it has been used for centuries to build shrines, temples and palaces given its durability and the aromatic scents. The traditional shaku-kan grid system employs an efficient and environmentally friendly construction methodology, yielding minimal waste and mostly pre-fabricate offsite before installing onsite. Together, they will ensure that the project will minimise carbon footprint at the start.
The retreat will be exclusive with only 8 guest rooms in various sizes to accommodate both single travelers and families. Common facilities will include a reception and library area, shared living rooms and kitchenettes, a tea house, a bath house and a catering kitchen. The unusual building architecture creates different levels of privacies to promote communal sharing of spaces among guests. Hidden alleys and courtyards also prompt new discoveries and reconnection with oneself and with nature. Gardens will be planted with hundreds of trees, notably Japanese maples and cherry trees, allowing guests to experience the beautiful changing colors of Karuizawa seasons while at the same time serves to meet our commitment to develop only carbon-neutral project. Lastly, a curated collection of screen paintings and silk scrolls from the 17th century by Japanese masters will be selected to complement the traditional architecture.
Shishi-Iwa House is nestled in the woodlands of Karuizawa, a mountain resort destination in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, easily accessed by train about an hour from Tokyo. The area – a popular vacation destination for Japan’s affluent communities – is famed for its idyllic settings, where luscious mountains, rivers and wildlife converge upon small picturesque villages.