Architecture People & Places


Apollo Architects • Kamakurayama, Japan

The five-sided open living space on the upper floor of Le 49 House, in Kamakurayama, Japan, designed by Apollo Architects. Photo: Masao Nishikawa

Located on Mount Kamakura, the Le 49 House, designed by Apollo Architects, boasts a stunning view overlooking Sagami Bay. The clients, a couple who had been living in a high-rise condominium in downtown Tokyo, fell in love with the location at first sight, taking an instant liking to the view and the lush green surroundings. The husband is a keen architecture buff who went on architectural tours throughout Europe to see buildings while he was working in the UK, and decided to commission a new residence with an attached workshop for his wife.

The house consists of rectangular volumes with concrete bases to which a white photocatalytic pigment has been applied. These volumes are staggered to create an overlapping effect that projects a modern sensibility while also embodying a certain Oriental aesthetic. As you descend the narrow slope, the triangular pilotis at the entrance to the house come into view.
Le 49 House features a high-walled, thin triangular courtyard and a view of Sagami Bay. Photo: 
Masao Nishikawa
A memorial tree, planted in the courtyard outside the first floor workshop, ensures a certain degree of privacy. The bedroom with attached glass-walled bath on the other side of the ground floor promises an unusual experience by using the surrounding greenery as a "borrowed landscape". As opposed to the privacy of the first floor, the second storey is an open, spacious environment. The sizes of the windows were calculated to frame panoramic views of the surrounding forest and ocean, while storage space, sinks, and other amenities were stowed neatly into the walls.

A striking feature of this house is the pentagonal roof made of both steel and wooden beams.

Opening the sliding doors fully allows the inhabitants of this luxurious dwelling to connect with the nature outside the house.

Project Credits

  • Architecture: Satoshi Kurosaki/Apollo Architects & Associates 
  • Photography: Masao Nishikawa 
  • Project Outline Location: Kamakurayama Kamakura city Kanagawa 
  • Date of Completion: December 2011 
  • Principal Use: Private House 
  • Structure: Reinforced Concrete
  • Site Area: 111.92square meters 
  • Total Floor Area: 182.70square meters (79.29square meters/1F, 103.41square meters/2F) 
  • Structural Engineer: Taro Yokoyama Mechanical Engineer: Zenei Shimada 

Material Information

  • Exterior Finish: Hydorotect Colorcoat 
  • Eco-ex Floor: Rose Wood Flooring 
  • Wall: Acrylic Resin Vernish 
  • Ceiling: Acrylic Resin Vernish

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