gré is a minimalist home located in Shizuoka, Japan, designed by Suzuki Architects. This combined home and business sits on the skirts of Nihondaira, a hilly area just outside central Shizuoka City. The neighborhood is a mixture of large old farmhouses, tea fields, and new housing developments, with small shops nestled into the laid-back surroundings. The streets curve slightly as they climb gently toward the hills as if they were built on top of the old paths between fields. They lead, too, to openings where Mt. Fuji suddenly comes into view. It is in just such a spot that this house is located. The first step toward ensuring a smooth coexistence between the house and its surroundings was to think about how walls could be used to provide a sense of separation from the neighborhood and modulate the residents’ level of privacy.
Photography by Kenta Hasegawa