junya ishigami's architecture digs deep for house and restaurant in yamaguchi, japan
 

junya ishigami's architecture digs deep for house and restaurant in yamaguchi, japan

japanese architect junya ishigami is constructing a cave-like restaurant in yamaguchi, japan that looks like it was tunnelled by giant worms. ishigami went about creating the unique architecture by digging holes in the ground, filling them with concrete and burrowing out the soil around them. he tells designboom the story – all images © designboom unless stated otherwise.

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

the project, named ‘house and restaurant’, was designed for a chef in southern japan and is slated to open in autumn 2019 under the name ‘restaurant noel
image courtesy of junya ishigami

 

 

on a tour of junya ishigami‘s office in roppongi, tokyo, the architect shows designboom details of the initial design process, which he says took seven years of planning before construction could even begin. he explains that the client requested a cave-like space, where he could use part of the building as a restaurant and part of it as his private residence.

 

my client wanted something like a wine cellar and I thought about how to make something truly archaic,’ the architect tells designboom.

 

I wish to think about architecture freely’, he adds. ‘to expand my perspective on architecture as flexibly, broadly, and subtly as possible, beyond the stereotypes of what architecture is considered to be.’

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

between earth and sky, the project for a chef’s restaurant and residence in the south of japan is designed ‘as a rock’
image © jean picon, courtesy fondation cartier

 

 

despite ishigami’s portfolio being characterized by an array of light and airy projects, the design for the house and restaurant, ‘noel’, demonstrates the architects refusal to be attached to a specific style. sitting between earth and sky, the project is designed ‘as a rock’ that combines a relatively simple gesture with a rather more complicated process.

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

the result is a the labyrinthine layout of the house which guides guests from one space to another
image courtesy of restaurant noel

 

 

the ground is excavated before pouring a concrete screed into the holes created. once dried, the mold floor is then removed to make room for the structure and roof of the building. the result is an inverted landscape determined in part by nature.

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

the project records the passage of time reflected through a process of sedimentation and erosion
image courtesy of restaurant noel

 

 

attempting to blur the inside with the outside, ishigami is obsessed with plants and determined to create another nature of ‘primitive’ forms. while he often starts with a drawing, sometimes he ‘sketches’ with a model. in the case of the house and restaurant in yamaguchi, it was the construction process itself that was the starting point.

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

detail of model of ‘house and restaurant in yamaguchi’
image © jean picon, courtesy fondation cartier

 

 

junya ishigami had his first major solo exhibition last year. entitled ‘freeing architecture‘ the exhibit demonstrated ishigami’s astonishing capacity to think of his practice outside the limits of know-how and architectural thought. it took the public on a journey into the artist’s imagination, revealing twenty of his projects in asia and europe.

 

freeing architecture’ received the golden madonnina of THE DESIGN PRIZE 2019 for BEST exhibition design.

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

the original idea was to clean the poured concrete columns, but ishigami was attracted to the earthy quality of the surface, the result of soil sticking to the poured concrete
image courtesy of restaurant noel

 

 

it’s hard to categorize ishigami’s extremely varied works, therefore the exhibition’s name sounds like a manifesto. one of the most experimental of japan’s younger generation of architects, his poetic visions have often seemed too radical to be realised, destined to be confined to the realms of installation art.

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

‘house and restaurant’ includes seating beneath organic forms 
image © laurian ghinitoiu

 

 

later this month, junya ishigami will unveil the finished construction of the 2019 serpentine pavilion. it opens on june 20 and will remain in hyde park until october 6, 2019.

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit
a view inside one of the models

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit
a view inside one of the models

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit
a view of one of the models

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visitdetail

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visita view into the fondation cartier exhibition

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

designboom visits junya ishigami’s office

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visitclose-up to a model

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

close-up to a model

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit
a bigger model and junya ishigami shows designboom the process of digging

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visitholes in the ground

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

pouring concrete into the holes and then dig out the spaces between the resulting concrete stalactites

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit
construction technique being used to build a cave-like restaurant in yamaguchi
image courtesy junya.ishigami+associates

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit
image courtesy junya.ishigami+associates

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visit

 

junya ishigami house and restaurant noel yamaguchi designboom studio visitjunya ishigami in his tokyo office

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