Hokkaido, Japan | 2020

YEZO is a small retreat, nestled in the northern mountain range of Hokkaido, Japan, that takes advantage of the dramatic landscape and an experimental design approach to create a private sanctuary surrounded by nature. Its lean tectonic system combined with only a most essential spatial programme redefines the modern meaning of true luxury: a place and time for quiet reflection and private enjoyment in a setting defined by wood, stone, water, and light, surrounded by ever-changing natural beauty.

The project’s elegant and fluid space follows a highly minimalist, yet expressive, performance-driven material and construction approach. The wooden roof shell structure is built up from glue-laminated (GluLam) timber beams suspended from a central concrete chimney and clad with regionally sourced black slate. GluLam timber is a structural engineered wood product that reduces reliability on less-sustainable old growth-dependent solid-sawn timber. YEZO’s curved GluLam beams are carefully shaped to operate in pure tension throughout, resulting in a weight- and material reduction of 90% when compared to straight beams. Their shape is optimised to allow fabrication from one single mould. This approach minimises the project’s ecological impact and reduces manufacturing cost and delivery time while maintaining a highly qualitative spatial design.

LOCATION | Hokkaido, Japan
LEAD DESIGN TEAM | Kristof Crolla, Julien Klisz
CLIENT | Private