Steve Leung, founder of renowned and award-winning Steve Leung Design Group, created his family’s holiday dream home in Japan’s ski capital, Niseko in Hokkaido
Starting off as an architect, to developing his professional business of architecture and interior design in parallel, Steve has become one of the most influential leaders in design. As a personal passion project in recent years, Steve has taken the lead to drive the architectural, interior design and art display of the dedicated family residence OOAK Niseko.
Lauded as the ‘crown jewel’ of Japanese ski resorts and holiday homes, and favoured for its abundance of space and privacy, Niseko is notorious for its mesmerising seasons. Often referred to as one of the world’s top 10 ski destinations and the ‘Aspen of Asia’, Niseko is beautifully snow-blanketed with light fluffy powder snow throughout winter; in blissful summer months, it offers an array of outdoor activities including lake boating, lavender fields touring and golfing, to name a few.
The destination also witnessed a distinctive cross-cultural phenomenon otherwise unseen in Japan over the past decade, evolving into an international melting pot, and uniquely positioned to celebrate the confluence of Japanese and international architectural design occurring in this special environment, making it the perfect base for OOAK Niseko to unfold in its majesty.
An acronym for ‘one of a kind’, the OOAK brand is the brainchild of Steve Leung and his family. Fuelled by Steve’s personal motto, “Enjoy Life, Enjoy Design”, OOAK offers a rare experience to enjoy not just exceptional and unique architecture and design, but also beautiful vignettes of his various life inspirations.
Steve sought after architect Makoto Nakayama for a collaborative effort further to the successful debut of OOAK Lamma, celebrating the meeting of traditional Japanese aesthetics and Steve’s own design language.
Following the similar design ethos between Steve and Nakayama, OOAK Niseko brilliantly showcases a timeless style characterised by clean lines and simple forms, paying homage to the long-established Japanese architecture through liveable spaces that embrace nature through the contemporary space.
Tucked on a hillside with two hinged structures, the two-storey OOAK Niseko is designed in consideration of the natural topography, showcasing the magnificent surrounding of the lush forest and panoramic views of the undulating countryside, whilst applying practical approaches to minimise environmental impacts.
Seamless transitions define OOAK Niseko, with the exterior and interior harmonious and fluid throughout the 600 square meters of space. Three-sided floor-to-ceiling windows sit on the upper floor where the splendid vista of Mount Yotei is available at the alpine sanctuary.
Apart from the spacious living and dining areas, the space shows off three large bedrooms, the 94 square meters master suite, – with each room being an ensuite with huge Japanese-style baths. Catering to the residents’ maximum enjoyment and private relaxation, OOAK Niseko has a dedicated entertainment room for karaoke and cigars, as well as a spa room for massage which cultivate more opportunities for quality time with family and friends.
The architect Makoto Nakayama shared his feelings of gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with Steve. Nakayama says, “it has been my pleasure to work on such a rare passion project with Steve. At first, I 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.
“Steve Leung is a highly sensitive designer who goes through iterative stages, exploring the design from all directions. He makes decisions by considering over and over again with the scale ruler and sketches. This manual style is more disciplined than how I work, and I remain deeply impressed.”
Steve Leung in turn says, “I am thrilled to share my design journey and legacy from a very intimate perspective. Working on my dream home with Nakayama-san, a prominent architect and one of the best, and throughout this meaningful journey, I have learned so much from him and I hope I have returned this great favour. 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.”