The Two Houses in Kamakura / Cell Space Architects

© Masao Nishikawa

Architects: Cell Space Architects – Mutsue Hayakusa
Location: Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan
Structural Engineering: Ryozo Umezawa
Construction manager: Daido Kogyo
House A
Structure: Reinforced concrete, timber frame 2 stories
Height: 4510mm
Total floor area: 78.91sqm
Design Period: October 2007-September 2008
Construction Period: September 2008-April 2009
House B
Type: Villa
Structure: Reinforced concrete
Height: 5080mm
Total floor area: 98.88sqm
Design Period: October 2007-September 2008
Construction Period: September 2008-May 2009
Photos: Masao Nishikawa

The two adjacent residences in Kamakura, Japan, enjoy both nearby sea and mountains. The villa is for the parents’ use and the other is a residence and studio for their son and daughter-in-law.

© Masao Nishikawa

The town where many buildings are back onto the mountain divides the town and the mountains into distinct parts. The path towards the mountains between the buildings acting like “an entrance path to a Shinto shrine” solves the problem of harmonising the town with the mountains.

The two facing buildings create an effect simultaneously of parent-child independence and familiarity. Each resident can view the opposite lifestyle or enjoy watching the green mountains, but maintain privacy by shutting down the Shoji screens set alongside the front windows.

© Masao Nishikawa

The site faces the southern mountains with the atmosphere of the Pacific Ocean and is open towards the east. The wide eastern facing opening is designed to allow light in, especially during the limited winter hours. The roofs lean toward each other to frame the mountain range and the roof shapes reflect the distant light from the waves.

© Masao Nishikawa

The plants inside the site create a green border around the buildings, which in the future will blend the artificial and the natural, giving balance with the mountains.

Cite: "The Two Houses in Kamakura / Cell Space Architects" 22 Jun 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Apr 2014. <>


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