- Architect: Ryuichi Sasaki
- Design Team: Ryuichi Sasaki, Gen Sakaguchi, Yuriko Ogura
- Structure Engineer: Tatsumi Terado
- Landscape Designer: Takeshi Matsuo
- Metalworks: Shinko Stainless Polishing, Tatsunori Horiyama
- Collaboration Architect: Takayuki Yagi
- Client: Yasunori Kamata, K-M-T
- Collaboration Architecture: Yagi Komuten
- City: Ota City
- Country: Japan
Text description provided by the architects. Ryuichi Sasaki Architecture, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed architectural design firm specializing in cultural experiences, is proud to unveil the Ideareve-Ikegami. Completed in 2021 in collaboration with Takayuki Yagi and Yagi Komuten, for the client Yasunori Kamata / K-M-T, the reinforced concrete structure was designed to accommodate a music hall, practice rooms, soundproofed residential rental units, and a penthouse.
At the foot of the Ikegami Honmonji Buddhist temple, renowned for its massive five-story pagoda erected in the early 17th century, the Ideareve-Ikegami is located in the south Tokyo town of Ikegami, a cultural hub comprised of smaller temples, cafes, stores, and residential zones. The mandate for Ryuichi Sasaki Architecture was to design a facility for the town where residents can gather, express their creativity, and study music in a variety of hybrid spaces. The firm embraced the mandate and responded in a stunning geometrical fashion.
“The Ikegami Honmonji temple is the most important spiritual site of the Nichiren Buddhist sect, with an illustrious history dating back to the 13th century,” explains Ryuichi Sasaki, CEO and Principal Architect. “The challenge for us was to design an experiential complex in its shadow that would embrace the spiritual and cultural essence of the community, while also respecting the types of strictly-enforced building codes that typically protect such heritage areas.”
A seamless blend with the environment - To the northwest of Ikegami’s largest cluster of residences, the complex sits on a trapezoidal site, just east of the town’s temples and cafes that cater largely to migrant waves of pilgrims en route to the temple. The two-story music hall and its 80-seat theatrical auditorium occupy a strategic place in the southwest corner of the structure, entered via a vestibule and foyer that combine to form a circulation zone that blurs the lines between the inspiring, undulating hills of the external landscape and the vibe of creativity that awaits inside. The foyer is embraced by three brass-colored, stainless steel diagonal walls, and the interior of the hall is encased in acoustic reflectors, with large walls that collectively form an abstract diagonal shape. Glass surfaces and multiple entranceways further embolden connections between the music hall and the surrounding landscape, with the latter embellished by gabion walls that delineate a garden of various species of plants.
Spatial reconfigurations - Towards the center of the building, the residential zone shares its entranceway with the music hall, and is accessed via a staircase marked by architectural elements symbolically paying tribute to the climb to the Ikegami Honmonji temple. At the top of the staircase, a series of sound-proofed rental homes line the corridor, each comprised of a kitchen, bathroom, soundproofed living room, and sleeping quarters. The residential volume also houses a penthouse unit comprising three-volume areas featuring sliding walls that enable maximum spatial configurations of its spaces. By reconfiguring the sliding walls, the living room and dining room areas can be enlarged to accommodate a variety of logistical situations. The sleeping quarters can also be reconfigured from a master bedroom into multiple bedrooms to accommodate other family members or houseguests.
Finally, above the music hall, a large terrace further fuses the seamless border between the building’s interior and exterior, incorporating inspirational views of the majestic landscape for the benefit Ideareve-Ikegami patrons.
“Views from the residential area, as well as the music hall circulation areas, were designed to inspire emotions conducive to musical creativity and melodic rhythms,” concludes Ryuichi Sasaki. “The project contributes to the blending of culture and hospitality that characterizes the town, and we are proud to provide this complex for the joyful use of residents of Ikegami.”