In 2023, Shishi-Iwa House launched SSH No.03, the latest project in its collection of intimately crafted architectural masterpieces situated in Karuizawa, a picturesque destination just an hour by train from Tokyo.
SSH No.03 is designed by Pritzker Prize laureate and co-founder of SANAA Ryue Nishizawa. This one-of-a-kind retreat pays homage to century-old traditional Japanese residential architecture. It consists of 10 pavilions interconnected by a series of engawa (covered walkways) and tranquil Japanese garden courtyards. There are only 10 guest rooms and one cabin villa offering Western-style superior rooms and tatami suites. Nishizawa used Hinoki cypress wood from Gifu Prefecture for the structure, interiors and fixed furnishings.
Inspired by spacial transparency as well as ‘Ma’, the Japanese concept of negative space, the Tokyo-based architect created empty areas through minimal furnishings and embellishments. A calming bathhouse and tea house also serve to complement the ‘Ma’ experience envisioned by Nishizawa.
Natural light streams through the room windows which overlook the internal Japanese gardens and surrounding forest. The lush landscape with hundreds of cherry, maple and evergreen trees afford an ever-changing display of colourful foliage throughout the seasons.
This unique project follows SSH No.01 and SSH No.02, designed by another Pritzker Prize laureate Shigeru Ban. They were opened in 2018 and in 2022, respectively. All three houses are positioned within minutes on foot from the other, and guests share all common facilities like the main restaurant and lounge. These impressive houses which collectively form Shishi-Iwa House Karuizawa present a chance for guests to appreciate the different architecture styles by these master architects.