House Call: Shell Villa

House Call: Shell Villa

Gregory Han
Jan 23, 2009

Name: Pasinetti House; Kotaro Ide of ARTechnic architects
Location: Nagano, Japan

In similar spirit to the Nautilus Shell House (though noticeably more refined), Artechnic's Shell residence in Nagano, Japan has us dizzy with its wondrous curvilinear interior space and crashed space craft exterior. What we really love about this unique home is the sea shell inspired exterior which was designed to invite the outdoors inside with a spectacularly wide courtyard view of the surrounding fir and pine trees. Supremely modern, yet still emanating a natural warmth thanks to a respect to forms inspired by the natural world (something we notice a lot with modern Japanese architecture). Though we also see a striking resemblance to the fuselage of Flight 815 of our favourite TV show from certain angles. More below...

Another interesting aspect of the villa within is it's careful designed interior air regulation system ("cold-draft blocking system"), which uses an in-floor heating system that circulates cool air in conjunction with a dehumidifying unit for warmer summer climate. The architects also installed a central control system which enables all mechanical and electrical equipments to be managed with just three buttons, alongside a biometrics security system that insures occupants are safe within the unique space. There's also something Lautner-esue about the structure, with its sloping ceiling and the circular seating around the fireplace which evokes dreams of both stylish cocktail parties and also quiet evenings listening to the trees gently sway outside. Not a design for everyone, but we're won over.

More details and photos over at

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