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Gakuroku Suien by BABID

BABID have been shortlisted for Living Space – Asia Pacific Award in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2023.

The client, a local hotelier with an extensive art collection, enlisted the services of the renowned interior designer, Babid, to undertake the transformation of a 200-year-old wealthy farmhouse into a luxurious villa in Kawaguchiko, a renowned hot spring tourist destination in Japan, offering breathtaking views of Mount Fuji. The farmhouse, spanning 400 square meters, had been a cherished family home for generations, reflecting the local architectural style and boasting exquisite woodwork. 


The project entailed remodeling the farmhouse to accommodate three guest rooms, spa bathrooms, a spacious lounge (LDK), an art direction, and outdoor social areas, while enhancing the living environment by reinforcing the structure to ensure high resilience against earthquakes. 

The design inspiration for the project draws heavily from the existing architecture and the surrounding garden. The captivating contrast between the white plaster walls and the intricate wooden elements, along with the soothing green gradation found on the exterior, serves as a striking visual motif that permeates the entire house, harmoniously blending with the surrounding gardens. The house’s inherent beauty left Babid with the conviction that minimal intervention was necessary, leading to the decision to preserve its essence as the guiding design concept.


Throughout the interior design process, emphasis was placed on incorporating these motifs and employing traditional craftsmanship and locally sourced sustainable materials wherever possible. The completed interior was then carefully curated by integrating artworks from the client’s remarkable collections, spanning eight centuries of the family’s history. 

Japan boasts a rich heritage of artisan-constructed architecture; however, contemporary buildings often prioritize mass production and industrial methods, neglecting the traditional craftsmanship. The project embodies a sustainable approach, with every aspect, both technically and culturally, guided by the principle of sustainability. This endeavor presents an opportunity for all involved to explore the transformative potential of preserving and elevating traditional art and design for future generations.


Location: Japan

Architect: Naoshi Wakabayashi

Interior Designer: Noriko Sawayama

Developer: Curation Hotel Association 

Construction: Kajiwara Kogyo Inc.

Photography: Joji Okamoto, Okamoto Photo Studio


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