Krampon, or the house gripping the landscape, nestled on a rocky emplacement in Hyogo, is the one of the most ingenious projects made by Japanese architect Shogo Aratani. Clambering on the steepness of the scenery, this two storey venue is designed for an 11-meter change of level, front to back, is divided into a string of blocks staggering up the natural line of the hill slope. “We decided to place volumes along the sloped ground to minimise excavation,” said the architect. “We designed the spatial sequence in relation to the landscape by placing three volumes along contour lines.”

Situated within a natural scenery, trees present have been fully integrated into the final design, whereas the rock that did get excavated was reintroduced in the system serving as main part of enclosing pavement and steps routing us to the main entrance. For maximum benefit of the landscape and views, main areas of the residence are on the top floor which open to a extended wooden roof deck. Its interiors lay connected down the slope to street level, the three volumes outlining the house follow along the surrounding natural profile. The three straight volumes are adjacent to the main staircase, a triangular central section, that can function pretty much as a small library.