With Akitoshi Kanazawa
To realize “a house that connects people with people,”
I chose Freedom, a company that never says “no.”
I wanted to give back to the people who supported me, So I built a house where we all can gather and share our bonds.
Akitoshi Kanazawa joined TBS in 2005 where he was a sports program director and program scheduler. He then took a job at Prudential Life Insurance to test himself in the world of commission-only remuneration, and in his first year with the company recorded the best performance in personal insurance in Japan. In 2020, he founded AthReebo with the goal of creating new value and revenue for athletes to maximize their lifetime value. He is walking the path of the entrepreneur.
Kanazawa: “I’ve been able to keep doing wonderful work thanks to my relationships with many people. I am grateful for the support I have received, and I wanted to do something in return for it. One of the ways to do that was to build a house—a house where people would gather to share our bonds and expand the circle of connected people. In 2018, I found some land in the desired spot, and in September of that year started building the house.”
Mr. Kanazawa wanted “a house where people can gather.” What exactly was his vision for the finished item?
Kanazawa: “All I had was a vague image of a large space where it would be nice if everyone could get together [laughs]. My wife had a more concrete idea than I did. Her keyword was ‘terrace house.’ The kitchen, dining room, and living room are all connected, with plenty of sunlight pouring in. We have three kids, and many of our friends have small children. They love playing together, and their parents can watch them while having a chat. This is the kind of vision we shared with our designer.”
As soon as we saw the plans and the VR Freedom prepared, we were sure that our wishes would be realized.
The truth is, Mr. Kanazawa had originally asked a different builder to design the house, but wasn’t satisfied with their drawings. When he asked for things like a higher ceiling and a toilet on a different floor to maximize living room space, he was told that they were “structurally impossible.” He dismissed that company and began looking for a design firm that could achieve what we wanted.
Kanazawa: “I found Freedom on the Internet and had them set up a meeting. When I conveyed to them my image of the house I wanted to build, they said, ‘We can realize the whole thing.’ I never heard a single “no” from them. A few days after our meeting, we got the blueprints along with a VR presentation that visualized the finished house. I was astounded at how thorough the VR was. I was so impressed that I said out loud, “This is exactly the kind of house I want to live in.”
The distance between the hearts of family and guests has definitely closed.I am truly happy that we asked Freedom.
In 2019, the new house was finished. Kanazawa said he was amazed that the house looked exactly as he saw it in VR, and that it could be finished so faithfully. On top of that, the requests he made after construction had begun were also accomplished beautifully.
Kanazawa: “When you’re building a house, new ideas come to you even after construction starts. We thought, “Since we’re going to the trouble, let’s also try to realize this or that. Freedom’s ability to flexibly respond to these types of requests is part of its appeal. The new house has lots of playful inventions. On the wall of the living room, which has a two-floor atrium, we installed a bouldering wall with a pole for sliding down from the upper floor, swings, and climbing ropes. The kids are crazy about these playthings.”
Kanazawa had a large-screen virtual golf driving range installed in the basement. The ceiling is high enough to allow golf swinging, and Freedom perfectly implemented waterproofing measures to prevent groundwater seepage.
Kanazawa: “I have a lot of chances to golf because of my job, so this is convenient for practicing. But the kids are even more excited than I am. They’ll play dodgeball on the green, or pitch a tent and pretend they’re camping. I feel like this house has brought us all closer together – my wife and I, our three children, and friends and family who come to see us here.”
Representative Director, AthReebo
Born in 1979. After graduating from the Department of Engineering Science, Faculty of Engineering, Kyoto University, he joined TBS. Later, he worked for Prudential Life Insurance, after which he launched AthReebo, Inc. in October 2020.