It is bold, but is it brilliant? This house wears its intentions on its exterior facade, framing one – and only one – view beyond its walls. It follows a trend in urban Japanese architecture to focus much of its energy on a meditative interior, but critics could wonder whether the same treatment makes sense in a less-dense setting.

Designed by ma-style architects (images by Kai Nakamura), the home is accessed through a solid rear volume with few windows. Residents ascend a central spiral staircase that opens out to a view-centric second floor looking out on a series of picturesque tea plantations in the distance.

To be fair, other views can be accessed in other ways – the solid entry space does have limited picture windows, and the site itself is elevated providing 360-degree visual possibilities out from the terrace level.

Still, once inside and upstairs, it is hard to imagine not feeling at least somewhat confined by the overbearing thrust-stage feeling of the main living floor. And, as an object in the landscape, one has to wonder whether the views once enjoyed by lower-lying neighbors have been obstructed by this new structure.