laab architects crafts gallery space from locally sourced timber in japan

laab architects crafts gallery space from locally sourced timber in japan

hong kong house, established during the 2018 echigo-tsumari art triennale, is an art gallery and artist residence that facilitates cultural exchange between artists from hong kong and local residents of tsunan town in niigata prefecture, japan. instead of building loud architecture, laab architects respectfully integrated hong kong house into this peaceful neighborhood by generating simple form and using locally-sourced materials. 




laab architects were inspired by the green and picturesque landscape, and used locally-sourced unoma sugi timber for the main structural element. the timber supports the gable roof and facade, as well as the mezzanine which serves as artists’ living quarters. it’s simple, pitched roof geometry resonates with the many vernacular structures in the neighborhood. 




the faceted and titled entrance facade differentiates it from neighboring residential properties and communicates its purpose to passersby. galvanized metal cladding, a ubiquitous material in local village architecture, was adopted to encompass the rectilinear white gallery.




the japanese province of echigo has a long snowing season, with over 6 months of snow cover per year, and therefore the angle of the pitched roof had to be carefully calculated. the angle works so that snow can stay on the roof during winter and avoid piling up on the main road. the first floor has a gallery space and a communal kitchen, designed to encourage cultural interaction through art and food sharing, meanwhile the artists’ living quarters are on the second floor mezzanine that overlooks the gallery space. 




laab architects worked closely with japanese and hong kong craftsmen and architects throughout the construction process. the craftsmen fabricated common objects from hong kong to occupy the space, such as the roller shutter, letterbox, and neon signage. hong kong house has been shortlisted as a finalist for the golden pin design award 2019 best design award. 



project info:


architecture: laab architects

project name: hong kong house

location: niigata prefecture, japan



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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