All this contributes to creating a traditional family residence full of contrasts, where the mild and soothing scent of the wood and tatami floors are interspersed with a lighting design that differs from the standard of traditional Japanese houses. The peculiarity of Light House is precisely the light. Upstairs, at dawn or dusk, its sliding roof will automatically open to reveal a majestic sky that invites meditation. The roof structure is the same as in another creation by the master of light and space: the Open Sky in the Naoshima Island, also in Japan: a square opening in the roof, covered by another sliding roof that opens to display the luminosity of the landscape.
Light is also the protagonist of the interior of the house: the walls have channels of yellow light whose intensity can be regulated, although Turrell himself has indicated which is the most appropriate chromatic hue for every occasion.
Light of House Hotel is situated just outside Tokamachi, surrounded by mountains. The entrance stands about 9 feet above ground level in order to survive the copious winter snowfalls. The hotel is an integral part, a sort of permanent site-specific installation, of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial in an effort to increase the number of visitors.
James Turrell (Los Angeles, 1943) is a visionary artist who devotes years of research and effort to each project. During the time he spent in prison— because of his objection to the Vietnam War— he learned about the light that hides in the darkness. He is fascinated by luminescence and has managed to create healing devices through a certain light spectrum. Aware of its benefits as a natural medicine, Turrell transforms light into art for the senses. ■