I. Concept

Before 2020, we had a place where we eat and chat together, maintain and store our tools, park cars and bikes, and discuss everything about our group. We made fire every weekend, even though it is in the midst of town. It was called 'KUMONOSU*¹' and had been our base for more than 20 years. But for some reasons, it was no longer available after the spring of 2020. This hut is planned as the next KUMONOSU. Indeed, many charater such as location, convenience, size, or durability is different, but we needed a place to gather.

We had been already renting a warehouse in the village, but it was difficult to stay long there. It's just a warehouse. Also, we are finding rental meeting spaces in the town, but you know, we can't make noise or dirt there. This hut was third option that may hold things and people in many modes, and something to emerge, just like the original KUMONOSU did. The hut is located in a forest that has not-bad-access from each fields in the village, so we can spend time there after each work. The woods and rocks surrounding the hut allows us to hold various activity.

The forest*² is basically artificial, which is consisted with cedar and cypress trees which human planted. But also, other spiecies of trees, plants and animals including boar and owl lives there. We had a plan to maintain this forest as the mixed forest with biodiversity, and planed to open it to the community, or even to the public. It's more like project than just a plan.

Can you see a hut with red roof in the map? The hut was included in the project from the very beginning,but had been just an idea for long. 2021, I thought it was time to move forward. We held some meeting discuss what we want, and finaly it was designed as a storage during the night, as the shed when we work, as the place to eat togather after work, as the visiter center when it's open.

A path goes along a stream first, and then, goes into the forest. The site is on the side of it, where the terrein is flattened. (I heard some shed used to be there.) The hut has 2 doors, 3 windows, an eave on one side, a valcony on another side. Devided by some walls, and with all of the characters of space, the hut can hold variety of activity in one place.

*1 雲の巣 / kumo-no-su : it's a parody of '蜘蛛の巣/spider web'. The sound 'kumo' can mean both 雲/clouds and 蜘蛛/spider.

*2 It's called '雲封山 / kumo-no-puh-san' which sounds like jp title of 'Winnie the Pooh', the literal meaning is 'The mountain that sealing clouds'. This forest is not ours. Back to 2019, the owner gave us a chance to maintain this forest. We got highly motivated because this is the only forest that we make planpractically by ourselves. But it is canceled.

*the forests in Japan : A dacades ago, Japanese planted a ceder and cypres trees that meant to be used for houses, but for some reasons like cheaper timbers from overseas and aged population, those forests are abandoned these days.

II. Material

It looks very basic. The main purpose was to make a room for anything. For this purpose, design was about the material and technique : assembly. I want it to be just a collection of things, rather than one distinctive piece of art.

We learned from the technique of wooden scaffold. Since we constantly thin trees, and the simplest way to construct them was that technique. Wooden scaffold is widely seen across the Asia or other areas in the world. In Japan, the technique is preserved as a tradition especialy in Kyoto. Only 4 companies can make it and I visited one of them. In this site, for example, the scaffold is for refurbishment of an old temple. They use logs and iron wire to make a big structure like 30x40m, over the delicate building without touching them. The log is reused, like some of them were once telephone pole.

From the way they tighten the wire, I came up with the idea to make a brace from the same wire. The brace strengthen the structure and enables us to make the hut without any truss. (I hope so.)

After making the structure, we need roof and wall. The bark of the cypress can be used as the roof, and the mud in the forest can make a wall. However, we wanted to make hut easy, we chose corrugated sheet for roof and siding basically. Later, we can upgrade (downgrade) the material and let's see.

III. Visions

In previous chapters, I talked about the plan itself but... it was all about 'what if', and nothing came true. Honestly, I knew it was difficult to build the hut for some reasons, including the safety, relationships with the village community, and so on. But as an architecture student, I wanted to make vision whether it is difficult or not. The predecessors draw bunch of visions and most of them didn't come true. Those visions are not useless. They show us possible options and give us a chance to think what is important. A vision was needed at that time.

Back to April 2020, we lost KUMONOSU, and the COVID-19 situation began also in Japan. We had to stop our activity since we work with people in village, who are at higher risk of affection. We lost both place and activity at the same time, but we had to discuss how should we do under such situation. If we just follow the instruction by the University, we could do nothing but boring discussion. But we concluded that we had better to follow. It totaly changed our daily life. Lecture or meeting were held online and meeting face to face was avoided, or even punished some time. We are totally at a loss of what to do.

April 2021, the situation didn't get better, and I started making plan with some other members. One purpose is to activate the discussion on place. Since our activity was officially stopped and we didn't think about physical place at that time, even though we lost it painfully. Secondly, it can be an alternative place than regular meeting. We needed a place that allow us to share the same vision, apart from COVID. Third, the documents help someone someday to build one, and even tell someone what was like 2020-2022.

To share the vision and to make it work, I used not only documents, but also other medias : pictures, models, and streaming software.

By the situation, the Place, where we gather was once questioned. Do they need? If so, why? No, no. The Place exists anywhere, without any reason. We find and play there.

- Welcoming work in April? ---canceled.
- The festival which we hold every autumn? ---canceled.
- University Fes? ---canceled.
- Ok, I knew.

IV. Diaphanes

This whole process was presented as diploma project. The title was 'そら飛ぶイメージ' / 'The Floating Image' or 'Daydream'. This picture was the main image of it, showing another dimension. It's about image and material, or fantasy and reality. The 1:5 model of the hut stands against gravity, on the ground. On the other hand, the CG is floating in the air, free from gravity and material matter. They represent the same hut, but they are different. What's between them?

What is between making and designing, or between thinking and acting? We learned designing architecture, and it always starts from reality. But the reality here usually means human thing : community, dweller, visiter, etc. It is formed with our eye, not with our hand. Where is materials? Materials that say nothing. They indicate something by working or not working well. I think the funniest thing in making is difficulty with materials. When we can't make as imagined, that's so funny.

Making model is another reality. There is the matter of size, material and force. When you care about material used in models, it can be said that it is more real than the architecture in CAD or drawing.

V. Cancelling