A Melody of Shadows

The architectural sensibility of Hitoshi Saruta is truly mysterious.

He favors large solid masses such as concrete, natural stone, and steel plating, and uses an abundance of 'black' on both exteriors and interiors. It is easy to imagine solemn, heavy spaces where nothing else can easily exist. However, contrary to what one might expect given the attributes of these elements, the spaces he creates are full of grace and light, and are always exquisite.

The fact that his universally appealing designs attract great interest, regardless of geographical location or culture, is proven by the incessant inquiries he receives from around the world. But perhaps the greatest reason for his popularity is that he is recognized not just as an architect, but also as an artist with an outstanding talent: his mastery of shadows.

The carefully calculated weaving of light and shadow create the illusion of being inside a painting. In a space filled with such inspiration, one may find oneself immersed in the gentle echoes of classical music.

When a new season arrives, and the client looks out the window and notices that even the trees and gardenscape are part of the design, he or she may secretly relish the luxurious gift from Hitoshi Saruta. When the intrinsic value of a highly artistic architect’s work, which cannot be measured by blueprints or computer graphics, is appreciated, the presence of Hitoshi Saruta becomes even more meaningful.

Tomotaka Utsumi, Founder, JIAC [Japan International Architectural design Center]

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Light and shadow is where it all begins. Naturally, I meticulously calculate every aspect.

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When you turn that corner, you will see this roof through the trees. Yes, it's perfect.

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Wouldn't it be something to look at in 20 years?

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I don't know how many houses he has around the world, but I'm sure he would want to come back to this house every season.

Biography Born in 1971 in Nagano, Japan, Hitoshi Saruta graduated from Yokohama National University (faculty of Business Administration) and started his career as a carpenter and construction manager. Later, he began working at a design company (home and shop design) in Kanagawa prefecture before founding CUBO design architect in 2004. Unable to give up on his dream of becoming an architect, Saruta continued to study on his own until his dream was finally realized in 2007. While he is now an established professional among the leading Japanese architects of his generation, Saruta spent his early years cultivating a passion for the violin and then working as a carpenter. His unique approach to each and every one of his architectural projects, regardless of scale, is appreciated by all of his clients. Saruta has received accolades domestically in Japan, and from Germany, China, Italy and the United States. In 2021, he launched the “Hitoshi Saruta” brand to design high-end architecture around the world.
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JIAC (Japan International Architectural design Center)
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Photo: K.Kurigami