Yoshino Cedar House, Yoshino

Designed by: Airbnb Samara Design Studio with Go Hasegawa
For client: Kenya Hara House Vision Exhibition Tokyo Floor area: 66.00 M² Year of completion: 2016
Nominated for: Social Award

160727 House Vision Tko 029
© Edward Caruso

Yoshino Cedar House - Bedroom

About the Project

Airbnb co-founder and CPO, Joe Gebbia, has created Samara, a dedicated multidisciplinary innovation and design studio within Airbnb. As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Gebbia has always been impassioned by design and its power to reimagine the future.

The team behind Samara launched the Yoshino Cedar House in July 2016. With an aging population and growing urbanization, many of Japan’s rural villages are left diminished, which not only leads to financial hardships for the communities, but an abandonment of traditions and trade. To address this, the building is made from the cedar trees surrounding Yoshino, felled by local woodsmen and built by the town’s carpenters. In its entirety, the project is a celebration of the local traditions of the region, while also showing an innovative new way to interact with a space.

Designed and built for Kenya Hara’s House Vision exhibition in Tokyo and created in collaboration with Tokyo-based architect Go Hasegawa, the house realizes how architectural features can engender a deeper relationship between hosts and guests. Following the exhibition, the Yoshino Cedar House was permanently installed in Yoshino, a bucolic town in the Nara district of Japan, where it remains a bookable Airbnb listing that is maintained by the village.

What’s unique about it

The Yoshino Cedar House provides a glimpse into enlivening rural municipalities. The design explores the strength of connectedness that humans share. With its aging population and growing urbanization, many of Japan’s rural villages struggle as younger generations migrate away and centuries-old traditions and trades are abandoned.

To address this, the Cedar House is made from the sustainable cedar forests surrounding Yoshino, felled by local woodsmen and built by the town’s carpenters. The process drew on the heritage and expertise of the local people who shaped it. The house in itself is a celebration of the local traditions of the region, whilst also showing a new way to merge the community with space for guests through architecture.

Whilst the house inherits the modesty and simplicity of a traditional Japanese house, it was built to be shared and experienced by an entire community. At the heart of the house is a long dining table, where the community, locals and guests alike can discover the village through the people who live there.

Airbnb guests can simply reserve the house to stay at the residence. The proceeds of each booking go towards a new fund that cycles back into the local Yoshino community.

160728 House Vision Tko 054
© Edward Caruso

Yoshino Cedar House - Exterior

160728 House Vision Tko 180
© Edward Caruso

Airbnb Co-founder and CPO Joe Gebbia in the Yoshino Cedar House

160727 House Vision Tko 084
© Edward Caruso

Yoshino Cedar House - Dining/Tea Room

160728 House Vision Tko 142
© Edward Caruso

Yoshino Cedar House - Interior

160728 House Vision Tko 152
© Edward Caruso

Yoshino Cedar House - Bathroom

160728 House Vision Tko 289
© Edward Caruso

Yoshino Cedar House - Roof (Exterior)

Credits:
Go Hasegawa

Edward Caruso

Airbnb Samara Design Studio

Are you sure?

Remember that you can only vote once per award category.