A Traditional Hokkaido Farmhouse – in Plastic? | Home Design Find
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A Traditional Hokkaido Farmhouse – in Plastic?

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This is an experimental house from Kengo Kuma and Associates in Hokkaido, Japan, that allows light to pass into the house through the plastic wall material draped on an armature of Larch poles.

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From a distance it looks just like the traditional farmhouses of the indigenous Ainu, whose buildings are clad with sedge or bamboo grass.

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But glowing in the dark like a lantern; the entire house is made of very non-traditional material in a triple layer.

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Indoors, a fibreglass fabric sandwiches a thick layer of polyester insulation made from recycled plastic bottles in the middle, while the exterior is polycarbonate cladding.

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The construction, soft and quilted, and the barely divided interior seems more like a gigantic tent than a solid building.

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Only the bathroom and entrance are there ‘hard’ walls and ceiling.

The thermal concrete floor continues throughout under the tatami mats, and soaks up and radiates the warmth from the fire.

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With no electric lights, you would rise when the morning sun’s warm glow embraces you.

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As dark falls, the romantic glow of firelight takes over.

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Traditional farmhouses in this region of northern Japan were built right on the earth and a fire would be kept burning night and day year round to warm the earth, which radiates out into the house.

A year round fire might not be such a good idea, especially in a house built of plastic.┬áBut that’s what experiments are for.

 

 

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