Modern architecture owes a great debt to the Japanese.  Innovators like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe were transformed by visits to the remote country.  The Sukiya-zukuri style was especially novel to Western minds.  

This aesthetic developed in the last few centuries of Japan’s isolation, and is truly unique.  Nature is revered above all; walls dematerialize to frame wild surroundings, knots and bark remain on columns, and a sense of stillness prevails.  Below the surface, ingenious and painstaking carpentry allows complex joinery which appears outwardly simple.  That paradox, the precision demanded by minimalism, is a fundamental challenge of Modernist design. 

I placed this house midway up a lakeside bluff.  Domestic spaces are earth-sheltered on the lower level.  They open to a lofty space ringed by wood columns, on a plinth overlooking a pine forest.  The approach is from uphill, presenting a modest one-story façade and entrance.  This house is meant to be understated, deferring attention to its natural setting.

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