Setouchi Retreat Aonagi
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, Japan’s master of Zen-inflected minimalism, Setouchi Retreat Aonagi is a seven-suite wonder that rises up like a dreamscape from the coastal vegetation just outside the city of Matsuyama on Japan’s smallest island, Shikoku. Here, concrete walls open onto vast empty spaces, while a vanishing-edge outdoor lap pool frames the blue expanse of Seto Inland Sea. As Ando has noted of his signature and unparalleled work with concrete, “Walls are the most basic elements of architecture, but they can also be the most enriching. They have the power to divide space, transfigure place, and create new domains.” From this one-of-a-kind property, visitors do indeed discover a new domain—one of serenity, of world-class art, and of floor-to-ceiling windows that present light, air, and water in natural harmony.