The work and reception space are created by fusing a wooden floor and tatami mats, while the south side has bamboo columns and a large, full-open single window, which was inspired when the gallery was constructed. The horizontal slit window on the north side of the building provides a clear view of each other's work from inside and outside.
As a house made of natural materials, it uses mud walls with fermented straw as the finishing material. A building is not finished when it is built; it is something that continues to be built even after the house has been lived in. As time goes by, the colour of the clay changes and the walls become deep brown like pottery. The clay wall can also be coated with plaster as a base coat.
Yatsugatake is rich with red pine. We considered whether we could utilise locally produced timber and used curved timber, which is said to be difficult to use, as the main drum-covered timber. Persimmon tannin and bengara are used to create a black colour to match the mud walls. It has often been said that a carpenter's skill is shown in the hut structure, and in the rustic house, the rafters are shown without a ceiling. Hiding electrical wiring is a challenge.
A garden with a wooden deck and weeping cherry trees surrounds the south side of the building, offering spectacular view of Mount Fuji, the Southern Alps and rural settlements, and a resting place for staff and birders. Another highlight is the stone-field building technique, in which the pillars are set on natural stone. Unlike ordinary houses, one of the building's features is its deep eaves.
Handmade fittings and fitting frames are another highlight. The fitting frames were kept small to softly express the building, and the clay walls were plastered to wrap around the frames and bamboo to make use of the roundness of the bamboo. This is the fruit of the plasterer's efforts.
We are warmed by a wood-burning stove custom-made by Czech craftsmen living deep in the mountains of Shinshu. The stove is large for the office, so it warms up quickly. Chopping wood is one of the staff's jobs. It is a refreshing way to reset the mind and get ideas flowing. The architecture of the rustic house goes well with the iron, and the steel plates around the wood stove give it an austere look.
Facilities are a toilet and a kitchen. A hanging cupboard and a hanging desk are installed to express a sense of fun. There is also a bookcase and ample storage under the benches.
The evening and night views of Hokuto City are also spectacular every day. Mount Fuji through the round window swallowed up in the mud walls is wonderful, but the round window with warm lighting and viewed from outside also has a wonderful presence. With the addition of the noren curtain at the entrance, it has the appearance of a Japanese-style restaurant.