SUTEKI (“excellent” or “fantastic” in Japanese) carefully embraces its site, suffusing all of the interior spaces with views of the surrounding landscape, and fostering dynamic outdoor living. Suteki America combines the best in the modern amenities of contemporary American life, with timeless Japanese principles. These include an intimate relationship with nature, openness and flexibility, and “borrowed scenery” (or shakkei). Suteki believes in the extensive use of warm, natural materials — emphasizing refined details and a holistic human experience. World-renowned Kengo Kuma and Associates of Japan, who recently completed the Portland Japanese Garden Cultural Village and the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium, designed the SUTEKI. Suteki America selected Kuma because his philosophy mirrors the company’s own.
The 4,739 square foot house is arranged to “hug” the landscape. A simple L-shape draws in the garden to the north as an outdoor room. The gentle levels stepping with the terrain encourage connection with the outdoors. A continuous wooden deck called engawa lines the house on the garden side, and is covered by deep eaves called hisashi. The eaves create a comfortable and shady place for family members to spend time together.
Living areas and the master bedroom suite occupy the ground levels of the home, while two additional bedrooms and family rooms are above. All of these rooms enjoy expansive, beautifully harmonized views of the gardens, designed by Portland Japanese Garden’s Sadafumi Uchiyama, and of the creek and the thickets of trees beyond.
The rooms that face the landscape feature large, sliding glass panels — with all corners looking to the outside. The movement in and out is fluid, continuous and connected.
Within the home, the materials emphasize rich, warm textures. Local Alaskan yellow cedar louvers set the primary tone, balanced by white oak and sophisticated tile and stone throughout. The front door and two special walls feature wood from Japan. According to Suteki America’s research with the city of Yokohama and Keio University in Japan, using wood materials positively influences human health and wellness.
SUTEKI is a testament that modern and traditional comfort and elegance, married with respect for nature and its elements can effortlessly coexist in a single, refined home.