A Contemporary Cottage

Posted on by Lauren M

We've been keeping our thoughts with the people of Japan and celebrating Japanese culture by revisiting some of our favorite architects from the country, and highlighting the art and architecture of emerging artists and designers, whose work is reflective of the culture of old and new, the relationship between tradition and technology, and the beauty of a landscape reflected in architects' interpretations of the vernacular.


So, today, we'd like to wrap up the week with a few images of a building we love and hope to one day visit.  The Tsumari Cottage, by Daigo Ishii + Future-scape Architects, is located in the same region as the Echigo Tsumari Arts Triennial, an international festival conceived to revitalize the rural community through public art.  Read more on this celebration of culture, art, and identity here.

Completed in 2000, the modest 560 square foot structure utilizes local construction techniques and materials to create an aesthetic that fits within the regional context, a concept that resonates with much of our favorite Japanese architecture.  However, the plan is distinctly contemporary, as conveyed through the massing, detailing, and layering of interior spaces.


Responsive to the site and the region's extreme climatic conditions, the exterior of the building reflects traditional and time-proven methods of protecting occupants from heat in the summer and snow in the winter.  At the interior, the architects utilized a different language to articulate space, defined by cedar board slat walls, plywood ceilings, and cork flooring.  The linear organization of living spaces provides for optimal function, while framed views of the landscape beyond create a meaningful dialogue between the home and its environment.


Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy our take on this unique project, a  beautiful example of environmental, social, and cultural  sustainability.


Photo credits:  Koji Fujii