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OOAK Niseko: Award-winning designer Steve Leung’s family holiday home in Japan

Steve Leung conceived OOAK Niseko as a gift to his family. The house is an unobtrusive addition to a resort town that is becoming known for architectural innovation.

OOAK Niseko: Award-winning designer Steve Leung’s family holiday home in Japan

Steve Leung, founder of the Hong Kong-based Steve Leung Design Group and former President of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers, has designed his family’s vacation home in his favourite Japanese ski town, Niseko, also noted as the ‘Aspen of Asia’.

Lovingly called OOAK Niseko, the name references Leung’s lifestyle brand, OOAK – an acronym for one of a kind – which offers a rare experience to enjoy not just exceptional and unique architecture and design, but also beautiful vignettes of his various life inspirations. This is clearly exemplified in OOAK Niseko, where its simple and elegant design integrate with unique cultural and artistic elements. 

Related: Steve Leung Design Group reimagines contemporary living in China with its new design brand, SL2.0

Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_001_Exterior_Nacasa _ Partners

Comprising two-storeys and two structures joined in a hinge-like manner, OOAK Niseko pays due consideration to the natural topography. Wherever possible, practical approaches have been made to minimise environmental impacts. Situated as it is, on a hillside, the home draws attention, not to itself, but to the lush forest and panoramic views of the undulating countryside.

“I am thrilled to share my design journey and legacy from a very intimate perspective,” says Leung, alluding to the fact that he actually conceived the home as a gift to his own family. “OOAK Niseko is a labour of love and a family home deeply rooted in design and in one of my most favourite locations in Japan.”

Related: Shigeru Ban designs Odin Hills alpine luxury chalets in Japan

Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_013_Living Room_Nakayama

To complete the task, Leung turned to Japanese architect Makoto Nakayama for assistance. Nakayama expressed that he was “a bit wary about working with another architect with a clear vision and opinions about design, but the collaboration was a wonderful and educational experience, and resulted in a more personal work that had a feeling of completeness to it.”

The finished home, which covers a generous 600 square meters of floor space, builds on the success of OOAK Lamma (the project on which the two previously worked together and that is Leung’s labour of love for his daughter, Stefanie). 

Related: Keiji Ashizawa on the beauty of harmonised simplicity

Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_009_Living Room_Nakayama

With its emphasis on clean lines and simple forms, OOAK Niseko presents as a marriage between a traditional Japanese aesthetic and Leung’s own style. Transitions between the interior and exterior are fluid and seamless, with splendid vistas at every turn. This is made possible by three-sided floor-to-ceiling windows on the upper floor, which also command spectacular views of nearby Mount Yotei. 

OOAK Niseko features a spacious 94-square-metre master suite, as well as three other good-sized bedrooms. Each boasts a sizable Japanese-style bath for a private onsen-like experience. The property even has a spa room for massage as well as a dedicated entertainment room for karaoke and cigars.

Photography by Sohei Oya and Ikuya Sasaki
Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_012_Living Room_Nakayama
Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_038_Master Bedroom_Nakayama
Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_049_Guest Room 1_Nacasa _ Partners
Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_051_Guest Room 1_Toilet_Nacasa _ Partners
Steve Leung OOAK Niseko Hokkaido_079_Massage Room_Nacasa _ Partners
Steve Leung vacation home in Hokkaido_057_Stairs_Nakayama
Steve Leung vacation home in Hokkaido_066_Stairs_Nacasa _ Partners
Steve Leung vacation home in Hokkaido_055_Guest Room 2_Nacasa _ Partners


OOAK Niseko

Client: Steve Leung

Location: Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan

Architect: Steve Leung Design Group, supported by Makoyo Nayama Architects

Builder: Shintaihei

Date of Completion: 2020

Time to complete: 24 months

Site Area: 10,000 sqm

Total Floor Area: 600 sqm

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