Earth restaurant and house designed by Junya Ishigami

Japanese architect Junya Ishigami completed an unusual project, which he worked on for nine years. This is a house restaurant, resembling a cave. It is located in the Japanese city of Yamaguchi. The building illustrates the trend towards a new type of earthen construction, which researchers predict a greater future in connection with the transition to sustainable forms of architecture.

Despite the relatively small size, the design took three years, and the construction itself six years. As a result, an innovative object appeared, where archaeological excavations are combined with concrete-reinforced structures.

The customer wanted an unusual, closely connected space with the land, which would serve as both a cozy restaurant and a home for his family. Ishigami proposed a radical method of construction: on a plot of 914 square meters dug a carefully thought-out moon-like landscape from the pits. These recesses were filled with reinforced concrete. The cavities surrounding the concrete “columns” were stripped of the earth – and the planned configuration of interconnected “caves” appeared. The total area of the unusual building is about 200 square meters.

Initially, the architect planned that the walls of the building would retain the texture of rough concrete. However, when workers began to clean up the soil around the buried areas, some of the soil stuck to the concrete and created a beautiful natural finish. They decided to keep it. The restaurant and living space are separated by three small courtyards. Between them, you can move through the central courtyard. The restaurant provides five seats behind the main counter, and 12 small tables are arranged in a cave-like interior.

The house, which also looks like a cave, has two bedrooms, a large open space with a dining table, and a living room. In the small kitchen, the countertop and sink are made of polished cast concrete. All the spaces between the uneven structures were scanned in 3D so that window and door frames could be precisely fabricated to fit each opening.

This project is markedly different from its traditional surroundings. Ishigami turned the family home into a kind of lake of strange shape, noticeable from the outside. The organic contours of the house are barely noticeable from the ground, and only at the entrance to the cave, the sculptural idea becomes apparent.

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