Standing out in stark contrast amidst the traditional Japanese architecture in the city of Kanazawa, Takuro Yamamoto Architects designed the White Cave House for a client who wanted multiple external spaces of terraces and courtyards reflected in a minimalist architecture. The monolithic volumes conceal a courtyard with a shallow reflecting pool, a covered garage which is the ‘cave’ connected garage for the client’s multiple cars to the living spaces, designed with functional minimalism.
My favorite detail of this project has to be the fact that the experience of a courtyard in a climate with heavy snowfall is a luxury. As described by the architects:
We designed Cave unstraight because it prevents passengers outside from seeing through, though it is not closed. By this arrangement, Cave takes a new turn for each part letting in the sunshine while protecting privacy of the courtyard, the terrace, and the internal rooms. Cave also serves as a route to remove snow from the external spaces in winter, otherwise you would be at a loss with a lot of snow in the enclosed courtyard.
The accessibility for the garage doubles as a way to remove snow from the courtyard, a clever solution by the architects without compromising having a courtyard in the first place. Ultimately, the residents get to enjoy the sunshine, be outside the house while maintaining their privacy.
Photography by Ken’ichi Suzuki.