2024 | Professional

NY Architectural Design Awards Silver Winner Winner

Sumu Yakushima -Regenerative Life studio-

Entrant Company

tono Inc.

Category

Innovative Architecture - Sustainable and Green Building Technologies

Client's Name

Sumu Yakushima

Country / Region

Japan

Yakushima Island is a natural paradise in southern Japan.

This innovative housing applies "regenerative architecture" to reconceptualize the relationship between human habitation and this nature. The name Sumu means both "to live" and "to become clear," expressing its core concept of living in a way that positively impacts the landscape.

Rather than being a discrete site, the design takes a holistic view of the entire river basin, from the mountains to the sea, making a positive contribution to natural processes.



It applies "regenerative architecture," a new approach developed that combines traditional Japanese civil engineering with contemporary technology.



The key considerations in the design are:

1.Underground design

Designing the underground environment and engaging the buildings in a constructed mycelial network promotes biodiversity in the soil.



2. Promoting the flow of air and water

The buildings and decks are raised, dispersing wind flowing between the mountains and the sea without blocking it. This allows the forest to breathe, promoting healthy air and water circulation.





3. Creating an ongoing connection with nature through architecture

The deterioration of buildings is a function of nature. As such, we regard maintenance as a dialogue with nature through architecture.



4.Off-grid energy from solar power and firewood

Sumu uses no fossil fuels at all, using solar power, storage batteries, and firewood, all powered by local renewable energy.



5. Several separate buildings layout respects the original natural elements.

Sumu comprises several separate buildings to enable a layout that respects the original natural landscape.



Sumu's design changes our relationship with nature. It enables residents to discover new possibilities for interacting with nature and adapt the way they think and act, building relationships with nature that transcend generations. Its unique approach has the potential to accelerate environmental initiatives if more widely applied.

Credits

Architect
Tsukasa Ono
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