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Not many homes in this world were designed for a 2,000 meter volcano to fit into their window frames, but Suiboku is such a building – a stylish retreat for vacationers with ten loft-size luxury apartments facing the slopes of Mt. Yotei. It was developed under the supervision of architect Koichiro Ishiguro, who had previously worked with star architect Hiroshi Hara on the 40,000 seat Sapporo Dome stadium. “What water does to ink, light does to concrete,” he explains, referring to suiboku – an ancient Chinese ink-drawing technique. Inside and outside Ishiguro left the concrete walls of the five story building uncovered, with the imprints of wood-casings serving as design patterns. It is “most beautiful when moonlight reflecting from the volcano’s snowy slopes casts shadows,” says the architect.

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