Design inspiration – Hirafu, Japan
The town we have focused on for this mini-series is a small snow town called Hirafu on the northernmost Japanese island of Hokkaido. Hirafu is the premier location for amazing snow conditions in the world and as such it has attracted huge investment from wealthy people across the world who have all demanded the best of everything including architecture.
While it is clear that the new, mostly foreign, investment in Hirafu has challenged the Japanese way of thinking thankfully the Kokoro, (Japanese term meaning heart of things) can still be seen. In a way the building is understated and one could easily walk past without taking notice but stop and look for just a few minutes and you will quickly become lost in the incredible detail put into materials such as concrete and timber that feature heavily throughout Hirafu.
There is definitely a huge emphasis on cubism design principles and usually this would translate to a clinical, sterile and even cold feeling however the Japanese have managed to make this feel warm and inviting due to their unwavering pursuit for perfection that can clearly be seen in the finishes. The finish that they are providing to concrete walls is something that must be seen.
If you would like to check out more of this incredible architecture we suggest having a look at these architects.