Slit Court
EASTERN design office

October 12, 2009 /

Kyoto, Japan

slit_court_1.jpgPhoto: Koichi Torimura

The building is located in Sumizome, Fushimi, Kyoto, a small town with a distinguished history situated south of the Tofukuji temple.

Built on a gentle slope the residential five story complex contains two units on the first floor, four units on the second to fourth floor, and two units on the fifth floor. To protect the residents from the street noise and protect what the they believe matters most in life, the sky, the land, and the light, the architects faced the apartments towards an inner court.

Slit Court - a hidden potentiality of an inner court./ Eastern Design Office

Photo: Koichi Torimura

Photo: Koichi Torimura

Photo: Koichi Torimura

We made a cylindrical inner court in the middle of the building. By building a void at the recessed place from the main street, the sky, the ground and the light is framed. Eleven curved slits (narrow windows) are winding up on the surface of four concrete walls. The movement of the upward rising spiral curves makes each resident feel his room is connected to the blue sky and the stars. The view blocked by the slim windows softly protects the subtle quietness inside./ Anna Nakamura + Taiyo Jinno

Photo: Koichi Torimura

To enter the inner court one passes under the cherry tree carved on the exterior wall. The cherry tree is a pale charcoal cherry called Sumizomezakura, a type that bears pale charcoal colored cherry blossoms whenwhen singing a song mourning a dead person.

Photo: Koichi Torimura

The path leads to a back street which again leads to another road. A typical use of land in the urban structure of Kyoto.

Drawing courtesy EASTERN design office
Site Plan

Drawing courtesy EASTERN design office

Drawing courtesy EASTERN design office

Facts about Slit Court

Site area:

440.12 m2
Total floor area: 992.94 m2

EARSTERN design office (Anna Nakamura + Taiyo Jinno)

Structural Engineering:

Hojo Structure Research Institute


Kuwahara Co., Ltd


Ryoichi Miyagoshi

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

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