Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, 2005 ongoing
Landscape Architects: studio on site
Architects: Azuma Architect & Associates
Client: Hoshino Resorts
Change: using water and topography to heighten the visitor’s experience of nature and contemplation
Hoshinoya Karuizawa is not a place where guests engage passively with panoramic landscape views from the comfort of their plush rooms. No matter what the season, the largely urban-based visitors, must experience a diversity of landscapes -natural and designed. Maximising a 30-metre site level change, existing forest clearings and hot spring infrastructure, the designers carefully threaded a sequence of watery internal and external spaces between the rooms and common amenities. Water is reinterpreted in multiple ways; a large central pond, streams flowing past guests' balconies and a shimmering water terrace adjacent to the great dining hall. These design moves required close collaboration between the contractors and landscape architects, carefully tracing water paths on site to retain as many of the existing Elm trees as possible and to understand the quantities of water flow. The sound and reflective qualities of water work together with mature trees to create a landscape of contemplation and retreat.