Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Archives of Kiyonori Kikutake

In 1958 Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake (1928-2011) completed the Sky House, a residence designed and built for himself. The project still stands out as a landmark to his long-lasting architectural convictions.

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake Technical Information

Contrary to the architecture of the past, contemporary architecture must be capable of responding to the changing needs of the contemporary era.

– Kiyonori Kikutake

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake Photographs
Facade of the residence

© Archives of Kiyonori Kikutake

Exterior view of the House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Archives of Kiyonori Kikutake

Sky House was the house designed and built by the Japanese architect Kiyonori Kikutake (1928-2011) for himself in 1958. The project still stands out as a landmark to his long-lasting architectural convictions. A founding individual of the Metabolist movement, Kikutake established the framework for structural planning and new models of urban communities.  His Sky-House is a high single volume that exemplifies both these essential standards on a local scale.

The house comprises of a single 10x10m concrete slab raised on 4,5 m high wharfs situated on the central ax of every side, with a specific purpose to free the corners. The piers additionally support the concrete rooftop. The architect’s refusal of functionalism is shown in a flexible, open floor arrangement with a focal living space and benefit regions on the sides, which reviews traditional Japanese interiors.

Kikutake always alluded to his biography, which crosses the historical backdrop of Japan to clarify his elaboration of Metabolist’s standards. Child of a well off group of proprietors, he was 17 when the war finished, and his family was all of a sudden poor after post-war changes. In the aftermath of the war, the Metabolists began to propose flexible structures in an outline state of mind that required structures to adjust to the changeability of things.

The sky-house applies this standard on the little scale, tending to the variability inherent in a single-family. The first expansion to the fundamental volume was the kid’s room, a small space plugged under the floor, (a “move-net” as the planner likes to call it), which was removed when the kids moved away. Amid over 50 years, a few changes were made to the Sky-house, some enhanced the building, some irremediably modified the house’s principles.

Interior Photographs

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Iwan Baan

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Iwan Baan

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Iwan Baan

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Iwan Baan

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Iwan Baan

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake Plans

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake

© Archives of Kiyonori Kikutake

Axonometric view of the floor slab

© Archives of Kiyonori Kikutake

Axonometric view of the bedroom

Axonometric View | © Archives of Kiyonori Kikutake

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake Gallery
About Kiyonori Kikutake

Kiyonori Kikutake (1928 –  2011) was a prominent Japanese architect known as one of the founders of the Japanese Metabolist group. He was also the tutor and employer of several prominent Japanese architects, such as Toyo Ito, Shōzō Uchii, and Itsuko Hasegawa.

Other works from Kiyonori Kikutake

  1. More information about the project in  Japan Architect, ‘JA73 Spring 2009, Renovation: Beyond Metabolism’, p.21-22.
Cite this article: "Sky House / Kiyonori Kikutake" in ArchEyes, January 20, 2016, https://archeyes.com/sky-house-kiyonori-kikutake/.