Architect Ryue Nishizawa Designs Second Shishi-Iwa House


Shishi-Iwa House is pleased to announce the appointment of Ryue Nishizawa, the Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect, for its second retreat, opening in Karuizawa 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 ten interconnected pavilions with eight guestrooms, using locally-sourced hinoki cypress as the main building material. 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 minimize carbon footprint at the start.

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. A curated collection of screen paintings and silk scrolls from the 17th century by Japanese masters will also complement the traditional architecture.

Huy Hoang, Director of Shishi-Iwa House and CEO of HDH Capital Management, says: “We are honored to have Ryue Nishizawa as the master architect for our second project. His design philosophy is defined by transparency, a mastery of scale, and dismantling to create an environment that eliminates borders. We are excited to witness for the first time a project that will meld Nishizawa’s free forms and sensibilities with a century-old formal Japanese vernacular style.”

Ryue Nishizawa adds: “This project is a hotel in the natural forests of Karuizawa. The hotel has eight rooms, common spaces, a lounge, a tearoom, a bathhouse and gardens. The architecture is composed of ten pavilions standing with gardens in between, the pavilions are connected by engawa (an open corridor). Guests can enjoy the surrounding landscape, gardens and architecture together by walking from pavilion to pavilion, or by staying in their rooms. The project will be built in Japanese style, according to traditional Japanese wooden architectural principles.”

Located on the same street as the first property, Shishi-Iwa House by Ryue Nishizawa and its close proximity to the Shigeru Ban-designed property will allow guests to share communal areas, and enjoy the two projects by renowned Japanese architects side by side.

Launched in February 2019, Shishi-Iwa House by Shigeru Ban opened its door as a restorative retreat that reinforces the relationship between nature, architecture and human connection.