The Concrete Shell House

In 2008 Japanese architect Kotaro Ide, completed the “Shell House”. The structure sits on a wooded lot at Karuizawa within the Nagano Prefecture of Japan.

Ide’s concept was to design a house that had the same flowing lines and geometry of a conch shell. At times its profile the structure takes on the appearance of a sideways J and consists of a 16000 square foot concrete mass that appears to float as it rises above the ground plane. Ide chose to use formed concrete so that the structure would better withstand the very humid summers, and cold winters of the region.  The reinforced concrete creates two intersecting elliptical shapes that surround a flowing open courtyard. The interior lines of the shell are glazed in floor to ceiling glass allowing for expansive views into the surrounding woods.

The interior space is an open flowing floor plan with built-in furniture, and ulin wood floors that mirror the wooden floating decks which extend from the interior space into the wooded exterior.

Out of the photos below, one of my favorites is shot from the courtyard that shows how the building forms a continuous  from building to courtyard as it sweeps around the tree anchoring it to the ground plane.

This just got added to my list of must see buildings.