Minimal footprint with clay and wool

Shell house in Nagano, Japan by Tono Mirai

What the client wanted was an unusual and attractive design that doesn’t feel old. The building also had to comply with detailed development plans, have a minimal climate footprint and be small enough to merge into the forest in Nagano Prefecture.

And all those conditions have been met. What awaits inside is a space packed with beautiful and clever solutions, all made using local materials. The supporting structure in FSC-certified local wood is anchored in the curved walls, made from clay and insulated with wool, before stretching out into the room. The tiny house has built-in storage and space for a loft bed. Up there, you get a good view of the ceiling, which comprises seven curved glulam beams, joined in a circle to symbolise the human lifecycle in symbiosis with the universe.

Small windows contribute to the cosy feel, but the main light source is very much the glazing across the front.


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