Sky Cave by IKAWAYA Architects

Three types of space with three courtyard gardens

Project Specs


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Appreciation towards IKAWAYA Architects for providing the following description: 


Welcoming calmness, comfort and light to the north garden in front of the railway station in central Tokyo. The site is adjacent to a railway station in Meguro ward, Tokyo. There is an elevated railway to the east and a neighboring building to the west of the site. To the north, across from the front road of the site, there is a forest, which you merely see around stations. Beyond the forest, you would see the city of Shibuya and further to Shinjuku.

▼建筑外观,exterior view © Akinobu Kawabe


The two-family house has a clinic on the ground floor and two floors above for each family. We decided to plan three gardens of different characters.

▼一层平面图,1F plan © IKAWAYA Architects


Entering the gate to the clinic on the ground floor, a garden of deciduous trees and stone pavings welcomes the visitor. As you look up, all you would see is the clear sky as the deciduous trees cleverly hides the neighboring elements. You would feel as if you are visiting a single-story building. This garden provides a relaxing atmosphere to the visitor instead of giving a sense of intimidation.

▼首层诊所庭院,courtyard of the clinic on the ground floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼入口,entrance © Akinobu Kawabe

▼诊所等待区,clinic waiting area © Akinobu Kawabe


The second floor is a residential space for their grandmother. In order to block noise of trains and views from the neighboring buildings, the residential space was planned to face the courtyard garden to the south which is surrounded by 6m high walls. The exterior wall of the courtyard wall is finished roughly with paint or wood planks which the noise diffuses as it reflects off the wall, achieving a certain level of quietness.

▼二层庭院,courtyard garden on the second floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼二层起居室,living room on the second floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼从室内望向庭院,view to the garden from the internal rooms © Akinobu Kawabe



▼三层居住空间,living area on the third floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼拱形的空间使住宅内部呈现出一种类似于洞穴的氛围 © Akinobu Kawabe
by introducing a filleted shape, the building’s interior became a cave-like space

The third floor is mainly used by the young family. With a forest that spreads to the north and a view of Shibuya and Shinjuku far out beyond, we planned a wide opening and a terrace that faces the forest. However, we were required to enclose the terrace with partition walls and a deep eave in order to block the noise of trains and views from neighboring buildings. On the other hand, by extending the eave and erecting a wall, we would ourselves cast a shadow to the forest.

To enable natural sunlight to reach the forest, we filleted the edges of the building. As a result, the building’s interior became a cave-like space, which embraces you and fills the space with a sense of security. Technically, the filleted shape raises the visible sky ratio, which reduces the sense of intimidation of the building when looked above from the front road.

▼三层客厅、厨房和餐厅,LDK on the third floor © Akinobu Kawabe

▼露台细部,terrace detailed view © Akinobu Kawabe

▼和室,Japanese room © Akinobu Kawabe

▼住宅夜景,night view of the building © Akinobu Kawabe

▼场地阴影分析,site plan – shadow map © IKAWAYA Architects

▼二层平面图,2F plan © IKAWAYA Architects

▼三层平面图,3F plan © IKAWAYA Architects

Name : Sky Cave
location : Tokyo , Japan
program : house & clinic
architect : IKAWAYA Architects
project team : Atsushi Ikawa , Jin Kitazawa , Yuki Imada
structural engineer : yAt Structural Design Office
mechanical engineers : Zo Consulting Engineers
garden design &construction : SOLSO
construction : EIKO CONSTRUCTION
site area:310sqm
floor area: 452sqm
completion: May2020
photography: Akinobu Kawabe

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