Architects: Niimori Jamison     Photography: Yosuke Ohtake     Construction Period:  2021     Location:  Mount Daisen, Japan

This project is the administration building for a small construction firm fromTottori, a nearby small city. In the midst of the recent pandemic, the firm opted to relocate their office to a nearby rural area. The new location is abundant in flora and fauna, with small scale agricultural buildings and a vista dominated by the nearby extinct volcano Mt Daisen. The firm hoped that this setting would provide an escape from the dreariness of city lockdown for themselves and their team.

In the manner of a terminus or infrastructural building, the Work Hut stands alone in its context; a carpark in a village amongst rice paddies. Like the nearby barns, the Work Hut is activated at the start of the day, with the arrival of workers, and sits unused after hours.

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As with agricultural buildings, the Work Hut needed to be hard-wearing and is of steel, concrete and aluminium construction. A 45° angled pitched roof sheds the heavy winter snowfalls. A cypress roof structure is visible under the eaves. From a distance, the Work Hut looks like a new barn building.

Perhaps inspired by the claustrophobia of the pandemic, this way of working – from city to country – goes against the exodus of people from rural Japan to big cities in search of work. Nicknamed ‘Work Hut’ by its inhabitants, this simple building’s position at the base of an enormous volcano, accommodating people from a different place, seems to emphasise architecture’s beginnings in shelter.

Text provided by the architect.