Shigeru Ban Takes the Hotel into the Woods

A boutique hotel located in Japanese woodland, Shishi-Iwa House sits comfortably within nature. We explore the dramatic project

Located in the Japanese mountain resort of Karuizawa, Shishi-Iwa House is a 10-room boutique hotel designed by the practice of Pritzker-winning architect Shigeru Ban.

Made up of three two-storey terrace villas, the hotel undulates through the surrounding woodland, creating both private and public spaces that encourage guests to explore and experience the surrounding 250-tree garden. 

Each of the rooms is designed to feel warm and welcoming, offering scenic vistas of the surrounding area. Upper floors feature private balconies, while ground floors open onto the garden beyond.

The use of a simple timber gable-framed structure also continues the natural aesthetic into each room, and every detail in the interior, including furniture, has been designed or selected by Ban to ensure maximum cohesion. 

"Everything from the construction to the furniture and interior detailing was carefully planned and considered to achieve a bespoke atmosphere," Shigeru Ban told Dezeen. "Blending the interior and exterior spaces, we created unique openings in the guest rooms and social areas to allow the best views of the garden and encourage outdoor access."