Teepee-shaped buildings by Issei Suma house community kitchen and pool

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Teepee-shaped buildings by Issei Suma house community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

This cluster of tent-like structures was designed by Tokyo architect Issei Suma to provide meals and accommodation to the elderly residents of a small Japanese community (+ slideshow).

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Called Jikka, the small complex is made up of five pointy structures, containing an assortment of facilities including a spiral-shaped paddling pool and a spacious kitchen.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Suma designed the buildings for a pair of ladies in their 60s, one a social worker and the other a cook.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Located on a rural site in Japan's mountainous Shizuoka Prefecture, the 100-square-metre complex functions as both their home and workplace.

It facilitates a food delivery service for older people, but also offers nursing care to people with disabilities.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Each of the five buildings is square-shaped in plan, and they all overlap one another. Walls take the form of an arch, while the roofs are pointed, giving the structures their teepee-like appearance.

Suma describes the scheme as a "a small complex of five little huts joined together".

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Externally, the buildings are wrapped with slender wooden panels.

The supporting structure is revealed inside, comprising both concrete walls and timber roof beams.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Each block serves a different function.

The largest block, located at the centre, contains a spacious stainless-steel kitchen where meals for delivery are prepared. This room also includes a small dining area.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

The two blocks to the west provide living quarters for the clients, including a shared bedroom, a bathroom and a storage area.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

To the east, one block accommodates two beds for guests.

The other block contains the spiral-shaped pool, which was designed to allow easy access for wheelchair users.

Teepee-shaped Jikka complex by Issei Suma features community kitchen and spiral-shaped pool

Issei Suma launched his studio, called Suma, in 2011. Other completed projects include a glass and steel office slotted behind the crumbling exterior of a 100-year-old cowshed.

But Suma isn't the first Japanese architect to experiment with tent-shaped buildings.

Hiroshi Nakamura and his studio NAP previously completed a woodland home that looks like a cluster of timber tepees.

Photography is by Takumi Ota.

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Site plan – click for larger image
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Sections – click for larger image