The location of the project by VUILD provides rich wood resources, with mountains and forests covering 97 percent of the land of the toga village.
However, the population is only about 600 and the majority of the residents is over the age of 65, making the village ‘marginal’, in danger of disappearing.
By building a guesthouse in such an area, this project proposes a new concept of a second home (‘more than tourism, but not migration’) where people can go back and forth as they visit their relatives.
For the construction, a new local networking system was proposed which completes the whole process, from material procurement to installation, within a 10-kilometer radius in order to make use of local forest resources, and approach the decline of forestry.
The first step was to introduce a low cost but high-performance digital fabrication machine ‘shopbot’ to the local lumber mill called Nagata Corporation, and the second was to slice the logs and turn into wooden boards, which is a standard that can be processed with shopbot.
By processing all the wooden parts to be small in size, the designers succeeded in involving residents who had never participated in architecture or construction, such as kids, women, and elderly people.
In addition, small parts are excellent in transportation and can be constructed without scaffold at the sloping land and narrow space.
As for the design process, VUILD has introduced Shopbot again, using digital fabrication to generate local traditional architectural techniques called ‘Gassho Zukuri’ and ‘Wakunouchi’ originally developed to withstand heavy snowfalls.
In addition, great attention was given to the orientation of the house, with the gable surfaces placed north and south in order to imitate gassho zukuri, and mountains running parallel to the guesthouse forming a U-shaped gutter, similar to the path of the wind.
A ‘wind-catcher’ was arranged to the east side facades in order to secure the daylight, ventilation, and warmth at the same time.