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Whimsical teepee-like complex offers a spiral pool for wheelchair users

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Five overlapping blocks make up this service kitchen and rehabilitation center

This enchanting cluster of teepee-like structures located in the mountains of Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture functions as a facility for two women in their sixties who operate a food delivery service for the elderly and a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities, proving that ingenious design can be used to great effect in the service and health industries.

Designed by architect Issei Suma, the 100-square-meter (or a little over 1,000-square-foot) complex, called Jikka, is made up of five overlapping, square-planned plots of varying sizes that connect, with each block serving a different function.

The central and largest structure houses the dining area and kitchen, where meals for delivery are prepared. Two blocks contain living quarters for the clients, while a guest room and a spiral-shaped pool designed to accommodate wheelchair users make up the other.

Architecturally speaking, arched walls with corresponding curved windows and door frames establish the facility’s whimsical silhouette, while round, pointed roofs supported by timber beams top each block. The walls are constructed in concrete and are clad in diagonally-placed, thin wooden panels on the exterior. Interiors-wise, the live-work space is brightened by the raw walls of the light grey concrete, large windows, and the soaring, white ceilings.