Picturesque Japanese ski town, Niseko, has undergone somewhat of a revolution in the last decade. Major hotel chains are setting up shop, and developers are buying land in swathes to develop.
One of the most successful developments last year has been Elevation. Backed by Grand Hirafu ski hills right under the gondola station, and bordered by a winding creek and the forest, the estate has been designed by acclaimed Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma.
Consisting of only 15 lots, homes in the estate can be custom-built and designed by the architect of the owner's choice.
The concept has been so successful, only one lot remains for sale. Plots have been selling for between $1.7 million and $3 million.
Elevation will appeal to discerning buyers who appreciate exceptional design, the spectacular Niseko landscape, and are seeking generous proportions and living spaces. Each plot has views of Mount Yotei, the ski slopes, meadows, the forest, and a nearby creek. The ski slopes are lit at night, and make for particularly dramatic views.
The houses must follow strict design codes to ensure exceptional quality.
"Every house is unique and yet in harmony with one another and the serene landscape,” Jeanette Hall, Managing Partner of Zekkei Properties told SCHWARTZWILLIAMS.
"We feel very fortunate to have been able to work with Mr Kuma to masterplan the site, as his vision helps us properly appreciate and preserve the exceptional location," she said.
The first ski home has just completed at the time of writing. Called Yukikage, which means the shadow of snow, the 512sqm house sits at a high point on the estate. Designed by Tokyo architect Tomoyuki Sudo of SAAD, project manager by Hokkaido Tracks Development, the house features floor-to-ceiling glass walls in every room to capture the views.
Location was probably another major success factor of Elevation. The estate is only a short stroll to the shops and restaurants of Niseko.
The developer, Zekkei Properties, specialises in high-end holiday homes and has delivered successful projects all over the world, including in Niseko, Thailand, Shanghai and Hawaii.