Type:House/Location:Kamakura,Kanagawa,Japan/Design:2010-12/Construction:2012/Consultant:Low Fat Structure,honda GREEN/Structure:Timber/Contractor:Eikou-kensetsu/Site area:182m2/Built area:72m2/Total floor area:130m2


It is a house in a historic town, Kamakura, Japan. Geographically the town is surrounded by mountains on three sides and open to the sea on one side. The client was seeking a house that would blends in the local atmosphere of this ancient town.

We offered a design which is composed of blocks of parallelogram deviating zigzag from each other and surrounding a garden in the middle of the site. From the dimensional point of view, we wanted to represent the mountains, valleys, and kiridoshi around Kamakura in the design for the light and wind to go through. Kiridoshi is a manmade structure often constructed along valleys surrounding the town mainly during the Kamakura period. People dug and excavated in order to construct a passage through a mountain so that people and horses could have an easy access to the other side of it. The construction continued until the time before the drilling technology for tunnels were introduced. The plants around the main garden and building were exclusively selected from the local wild environment to create a natural sequence from the site to the mountain behind it.

We developed the overall idea imagining the house like a plant that cannot move on its own but is fully equipped with the abilities to withstand the environment with its branches growing into directions for its better chance of survival.