In the calm seaside town just outside Tokyo city, Seaside Retreat Hayama quietly sits a few steps from the ocean. While it has the proximity to the city, the sand beach, vast ocean, green landscape, and the intimacy of the town make it a unique place distinctively different from the city. The architects’ design approach is to create an entire experience rather than making mere architecture. The design emphasizes the relationship between human and nature, and maximizes the opportunities to enjoy outdoor living.
There are two main considerations for the siting of the structure. First, it is essential to preserve the two existing symbolic trees, and secondly to create one continuous indoor/outdoor space. The building is sited carefully so it is not to encroach nature but to embrace it instead. As a result, it forms the main outdoor space gracefully anchored by the two trees. Sand and water are then planned into this outdoor court which conceptually ties to the adjacent beach. All circulation is placed at the exterior realm to promote outdoor living. Various scales of outdoor space spreading through three levels are inter-connected by wood deck which gives the sense of onboard a boat. Consequently, the outdoor becomes the main space and the architecture becomes secondary.
The building consists of two main volumes which are connected by semi-outdoor spaces. The Japanese form expresses the locality while the Western form recalls the memory of American barns. The 2-story wood structure contains materials and colors that are natural, warm and casual. The stained wood sidings and decks, concrete mortar floor, exposed wooden beams, etc. all provide a relaxing and comfortable touch and appearance. The extensive usage of wooden folding doors and exterior wood decks further blurs the boundary between the indoor and the outdoor. The interior is graced with a casual elegance through-out. Its colors, finishes and furniture are carefully selected to enhance the experience of beach side living.
Since the start of the project, the most predominant inspiration is that the design should cultivate the experience between people and the natural context. Overall, this project has taken the most advantage of its site and created a beach retreat that tranquilly embraces people who come to experience it.