kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
kengo kuma and associates (KKAA) has wrapped ‘sunny hills japan’ — a dessert shop specializing in traditional taiwanese pineapple cakes — with a faceted wooden construction that is reminiscent of an interwoven bamboo basket. located in a dense residential neighborhood just off the omotesando street in tokyo, the organically arranged timber slats create the sense of a forest within the busy city center. its construction employs a technique called ‘jiigokugumi’, an ancient handcraft passed down between woodworkers and artisans, which joins the individual lengths together without the use of glue or nails.

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
all images by daici ano

 

 

the system is described by kuma as ‘the essence of japanese architecture’ and is revitalized in the ‘sunny hills’ store by crossbreeding the inherited practice with new technologies. unconventional angles of the lattice and their criss-crossed alignment was, as kuma communicates, the ‘biggest difficulty that we faced both during the design process and the construction process’ yet successfully achieves a shape and frame that evokes the natural form of a woodland landscape. to see more about the initial stages of the design, see designboom’s coverage here

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
the building is deigned around a vertical circuit style

 

 

geometric apertures formed between the wooden pieces allow sunlight to naturally illuminate the interior, while still offering privacy. the interior program is dispersed between the floors — by designing the building in a vertical circuit style, the act of walking up and down the stairs itself become a fun and engaging experience.

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
spaces formed by the wooden panels allow natural light to flow inside, while maintaining privacy

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
a basket-like weave wraps the exterior and interior surfaces

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
the shop is outfitted with timber tables, referencing the material that clads the structure

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
individual wooden lengths are bound together without the use of glues or nails

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
illuminated at night, the woven expanse evokes the sense of a forest

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
a systematic arrangement of angled wooden slats comprises the exterior skin 

kengo kuma completes sunny hills japan shop in wood
layers of interlocking panels