- Sarah Press
Based in Nara, this cliff house is located in the Tenkawa village overlooking a rolling riverscape. Designed by Masato Sekiya’s firm Planet Creations as a holiday villa for a doctor and his wife, the building protrudes from a cliff edge above a river — the perfect spot for the couple to practice a type of fly fishing called ayu.
Described by the architects as “a space floating in nature”, the building’s lofty perch provides spectacular views of the forest and the Ten River, which is 17 meters below. Its tubular reinforced concrete two-floor structure is built into flat bedrock, with a concrete pillar as a fulcrum, and a mass of concrete as a counterweight. Inside, the plan is partitioned lengthways with a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom located on one side, and the master bedroom, living room and deck area on the other. The end of the building opens outwards, framing views across the river. Each area is separated by sliding doors that can be folded back completely, while huge windows open up the bedroom to the green landscape. The indoor spaces create a balance between rugged and refined, with raw wood interiors set against a smooth concrete mass.