It's a penthouse, but yeah.
Reading the description on the architects website, it seems that it has a point.
Just added a bunch of extra pictures including of the rest of the building.
Just got back from a couple of weeks with family in Japan.
With some friends, went to visit some friends-of-friends in their new house beside the sea south of Tokyo.
Wonderful location, on a fairly steep, forested slope near the ocean.
Terrible house design. Whilst the house was structurally well-designed for the site, as it was essentially a series of interconnected boxes which stepped down the slope on three levels, apart from the structural factor, the house entirely failed to take advantage of its location.
A lot of Japanese houses in cities have smaller, narrow windows that are positioned up high so that some natural light comes in but it is difficult for neighbours to see into houses. Despite the fact that there were no neighbours around, this house was made in precisely that style. There were hardly any windows to take advantage of the view. At the end of the third "box", there were large glass sliding doors that led out onto a sizeable deck - but for reasons entirely opaque to me, the deck was surrounded on the other three sides by a 2.5m high concrete wall with absolutely no windows in it whatsoever. The sun was beating down on us and it was sweltering. It killed me to think that if the walls were not there, we would have fantastic forest and ocean views and lovely ocean breezes but instead we were confined to a concrete box.
The only room that actually had reasonably large windows was the bathroom, which looked out onto a small, walled Japanese garden and which was very nice. You could soak in the bath and contemplate the garden and the large trees on the other side of the garden fence. However, that didn't make up for the absolute failure of the rest of the design.
I suspect cultural differences are at play. Privacy valued over views, which you can enjoy from outside the building in any case.
Some idiosyncrasies could also be due to regulation and how Japan's sketchy construction industry interacts with it. You've probably noticed that a lot of of the narrow back streets in Japanese cities have taller buildings where floor setbacks and sloping rooflines overlook the street to allow light in. Problem is, I'm fairly certain I've seen examples where the setback faces an adjacent building instead of the street. What good does that do?
Why can't you just politely explain that it's travertine instead of sandstone, instead of being offensive and insulting?
Your architectural knowledge is valued in this thread, but you don't need to be a condescending, patronising prick. Why not be polite and helpful instead of rude?