I have been studying Islamic gardens, which are often qualified as ‘paradise gardens’. As I designed this house soon after translating the book on Islamic garden written by John Brookes “Gardens of Paradise, the History and Design of the Great Islamic Gardens”, the building became quite Islamic along with a surrounded courtyard, hence comes the name of this house.
Since weekend houses are expected to be used as an anti-daily space, I created a square main hall covered with a domical ceiling, from the top of which drops light and in the continuous courtyard is heard the peaceful sound of fountain water.

Entrance side Elevation

DATA ; Reinforced concrete building / Location : Higashi-Ota, Kisarazu, Chiba prefecture / Design : Takeo Kamiya architect and associates, Decenber 1988 - June 1989 / Structural design : Isamu Suga / Mechanical design : Hiroaki Higashi / Electrical design : Shoichi Yamazaki / Construction : Izumi Construction, August 1989 - July 1990 / Site area : 3500 square meters / Total floor area : 74 square meters / Photographs : Isao Imbe

Arched entrance    Corridor and kitchen


This is a second house of the owner of a small real estate company. Though the building site was large, most of it was a precipice, not leaving extensive flat land suitable for a house. As a city precipice-regulation is applied to the flat space under the precipice, the building had to be made of concrete.
The plan is geometric, putting three cubic units of five meters square base in line. The eastern cube includes the entrance, kitchen and bathroom, the central cube is the living room, and the western cube includes the bedroom and storages. The living room is a symbolic space with a hemispheric ceiling, on top of which is an acrylic round top-light.


The central cube is set back by two meters to the north, and its southern side forms a courtyard surrounded with a semi-circular curved bench, a flower box and a frosted glass screen. At the center of the patio is a white marble basin, from which a small fountain spouts water with a pleasant small sound, like an Islamic tranquil garden.

By putting away the sliding glass doors, net screen doors and shoji in a hidden door pocket of either side, the living room and the patio are united as one, one freely go in and out. In contrasting the living room as a white space with a white carpet and white sofas, the bed room in the western cube is blue one like the bottom of the sea with a blue carpet, blue walls and blue-green ordered beds.
On the other hand, the outer side of the dome is finished with golden mosaic-tiles over the white tiled walls, shining under the sun like a building in a dream, along with white tiled walls.

Living room to Patio    bedroom

© Takeo Kamiya
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