Concrete Shell House by IKAWAYA ARCHITECTS

Apunctuated “hole” becomes a garden that brings light and air inside

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards IKAWAYA Architects for providing the following description: 


The project site is a narrow stripwith 9m width facing the street and 26m deep. There we first established a “shell” of maximum volume within the height limitations and setback guidelines. Then we punctuated “holes” to desirable places of the “shell” volume where it was agreedsuitable to incorporate natural light and wind.

▼航拍顶视图,aerial top view © Akinobu Kawabe


At the deep southernmost part of the site, there is a 7m tall oak tree as the house’s symbol tree. We have planted the tree in prior to the foundation work since it would be impossible to reach the deepest area of the site after the structure of the house is erected. We could say that the oak tree was watching over the house since the start the construction.

▼场地最南端的橡树,the oak tree at the deep southernmost part of the site © Akinobu Kawabe


Inside the “hole”, we created garden with plants that relates to its adjacent room; a“sunken garden” at the basement, an “acorn garden” on the ground floor and “dining garden” on the second floor. By “breaking” the top of the shell, we placed a “sky garden” at the rooftop. All the dispersed gardens are linked with an exterior stairway.

▼顶层客厅外的露台花园,exterior terrace outside the living room on the top floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼空中花园,“sky garden” at the rooftop © Akinobu Kawabe

▼下沉庭院,“sunken garden” at the basement © Akinobu Kawabe

▼位于一层的“橡果园”,“acorn garden” on the ground floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼所有分散的花园都由室外楼梯相连, All the dispersed gardens are linked with an exterior stairway © Akinobu Kawabe

▼室外楼梯细部,detail of the exterior stair © Akinobu Kawabe


The “shell” incorporates the exterior insulation method. Thus, the heat capacity of the concrete wall enables a moderate change in interior temperature. Also, by exposing both exterior and interior concrete walls, it forms a sense of continuity throughout the house. The box culvert structure system was applied to maintain such sense of continuity and eliminates partition walls perpendicular to the tunnel space. In the end, a “strong” but also “embracing” concrete structure was achieved.

▼室内概览,overall of the interior © Akinobu Kawabe

▼大面积的玻璃将花园景观引入室内,large areas of glazing introduce garden views into the interior © Akinobu Kawabe

▼客厅与餐厅,living room and dining area © Akinobu Kawabe

▼客厅与开放式厨房,living room and the open kitchen © Akinobu Kawabe

▼顶层阁楼,attic on the top floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼由地下工作室看下沉庭院,viewing the sunken garden from the interior of the basement workshop © Akinobu Kawabe

▼由休息室看空中花园,viewing the sky garden from the interior of the restroom © Akinobu Kawabe

▼项目细部,details of the project © Akinobu Kawabe

▼走廊细部,details of the hallway © Akinobu Kawabe

▼室内楼梯细部,detail of the interior staircase © Akinobu Kawabe

▼天台夜景,night view of the roof terrace © Akinobu Kawabe

▼总平面图,master plan © IKAWAYA ARCHITECTS

▼地下室平面图,basement floor plan © IKAWAYA ARCHITECTS



▼剖面分析图,section diagram © IKAWAYA ARCHITECTS

Name : Concrete Shell House
Location : Tokyo , Japan
Program : house & atelier
Project team : Atsushi Ikawa , Ryosuke Nambara
structural engineer : yAt Structural Design Office
mechanical engineers : Zo Consulting Engineers
construction : EIKO CONSTRUCTION
garden design &construction : SOLSO
site area : 229.01 sqm
floor area : 332.16 sqm
completion : June 2020
photography : Akinobu Kawabe

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