Tradition and New Technology

architect Kengo Kuma
project Meme - experimental House, Taiki-Cho, Hiroo-Gun, Hokkaiddo, Japan


We were in charge of the first experimental house and, in the process of designing, we got a number of clues from Chise, the traditional housing style of the Ainu. What is most characteristic about Chise is that it is a ‘house of grass’ and ‘house of the earth’. While on Honshu (the main island), a private house is principally a ‘house of wood’ or ‘house of earthen wall’, Chise is distinctively a ‘house of grass’, as the roof and the wall are entirely covered with sedge or bamboo grass to secure heat-insulating properties.