Yusuhara Machino-eki | Kengo Kuma and associates

Hotel and market in the mountains of Japan.

Description by Kengo Kuma and associates:

Yusuhara Machino-eki is a complex of a market selling local products and a small hotel with 15 rooms. Combining the two different functions via atrium, a new core facility was born for the town of 3,900 in the mountains. Yusuhara is widely known as the town facing a main road used by Sakamoto Ryoma, a high-minded warrior of the region who contributed to the initiation of the Meiji Restoration (big political reform). Along the road, there existed a number of greenrooms called “Chad Do” for travelers, which functioned not only as restrooms but also as a kind of cultural salon, serving teas free of charge. As an attempt to respect this history, we used thatch as the material, which is deeply related to “Cha Do,” which worked as a medium to connect the past with the present. Glass fittings are used for the lower part of the building, including the market’s entrance facing the front road, which can be open at any hour of the day, and on top of it come piles of the straw unit in the module of 2,000×980mm, an unprecedented form for a curtain wall. Normally in a thatched roofing, thatch is fixed vertically against the foundation, in which its cut ends face towards outside. In this building, however, the bunch of thatch is bound horizontally to the foundation, with which the cut end won’t be exposed to rainfalls, and will last long. As another device, pivots are set on the steel mullion at the both ends of each thatch unit, so that it can rotate and take in fresh air from outside, which will the maintenance of the thatch easier. For the interior, we used logs of cedar tree with some remained astringent skin. The remain of the astringent was controlled by the pitch of the bark peeler, so that some nuance was added to their texture. Using rough-textured materials, such as thatch and log, we tried to create a new characteristics of Yusuhara.

Design Office: Kengo Kuma and associates

Location: Yusuhara, Japan

Photographs: Takumi Ota

Italian loft-apartment | Marco Dellatorre


see part 2 here

Design Office: Marco Dellatorre

Location: Milan, Italy

Jackie Su Restaurant | RAUMINRAUM

Design Office: RAUMINRAUM

Location: Bremen, Germany

Photographs: Nikolai Wolff

New York Apartment | Shamir Shah Design

Design Office: Shamir Shah Design

Location: Soho, New York, Usa

Sophisticated Apartment in Russia | INT2architecture

Description by INT2architecture:

Apartment for a young couple in a new housing development is situated not far from Saint-Petersburg. The main goal of the project was to create a big well lighted open space living room with singularized functional zones and separated bedroom. In order to do so, first of all, the balcony was integrated into the apartment and transformed into a “plywood box” that is inserted into the room. This “box” is used as a dining zone with a wide window overlooking a forest. “The box” allowed us to widen the existing window in order to bring more light into the whole common space. The only window was a pre-existing condition and obviously was not enough for a such a big room. Secondly, home office zone was allocated in the living room – a small space for the desk and office equipment is separated from the common area by the two-sided shelving system.
Lastly, the third functional zone singularized from the common space is the kitchen. Even though it is a very technological zone it does not look foreign in the living room thanks to the minimalistic design. Interior color scheme is based on the nuance palette with small bright accents here and there. White walls and neutral floors are the background and pastel colors – coral, gentle blue, pearl gray – create an atmosphere of warmth and coziness. Ocean blue wall color in the bedroom combined with the hints of red offers a relaxed but at the same time exciting atmosphere – one that is well-suited for the young couple’s bedroom. Interior style in this project can be described as contemporary with the mix of Scandinavian design elements and Mid-century Modern furniture.
By mixing old with absolutely new, by blending modern century furniture with the typical minimalist one we tried to create a balance of functionality and artwork perception of the space, and to get an expressive, stylish and unique interior with an authentic atmosphere as a result.

Design Office: INT2architecture

Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Photographs: INT2architecture