Tetsuhiro Hattori and Kyoko Ide, both designers and founders of fashion brand Yaeca, found a hidden gem on the top of Kamakura mountain, a one-hour drive from Tokyo central.
Surrounded by green and overlooking the sea of Sagami Bay, the house is designed by the architect Junzo Yoshimura, completed in 1974, alongside a tea house added 3 years later. They finished restoration last summer and now use it as their weekend house and as a gallery named “ink gallery”, open occasionally.
One day they went to see a house designed by Kameki Tsuchiura, who used to work for Frank Lloyd Wright and found out that there was also a house by Junzo Yoshimura on sale. So they came here. The house had been abandoned for over 30 years, after passing from the original owner to the next generation. “I like architecture that has a Japanese identity. Junzo Yoshimura is one of my favorite architects and I’ve been thinking it would be nice one day if we can have a house designed by him since long before,” Tetsuhiro says.
Because there were no residents for so many years, the main house was heavily damaged. “The house was like a ruin, the garden was like a jungle,” they recall the first day they came to see it, holding torches and pushing away the overgrown greens. “It was more like restoration than renovation,” Tetsuhiro says. Except for installing a new kitchen, basically, they just changed floor tiles and carpet; no big changes were made. Enormously helpful in bringing the house back to the original was a box full of blueprints, plans, and documents, left by the former owner; there were also sketches of furniture.
This article is included in issue Nº14. Buy it here.