This eye-catching, organically-shaped restaurant overlooking Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, has been realised by the Yokohama-based architectural practice Takeshi Hosaka Architects in 2009. Named Hoto Fudo, the now-popular establishment has been named after the traditional local noodle dish called Hōtō, which the diners can savour while enjoying the spectacular views of the highest peak in Japan. Reminiscent of an oversized, irregular igloo, the building is supported by an innovative, 100mm-thick urethane and Glass Fibre Reinforced Concrete structure called “Sandwich RC Shell” which has been developed in collaboration with the engineering specialists Arup due to a specific ‘regional issues’ such as diverse climate conditions which include heavy snow as well as the increased seismic activity of the region.
More about the project:
‘This building seems to belong to such nature objects as mountains and clouds. It is made from soft geometry, which will not arise from the figures like quadrangles and circles. By continuously operating innumerable polygon mesh points, we have determined the shape that clears the conditions such as the consistency as shell construction and the undulations that ward off rainwater in spite of its free geometry. The RC shell with cubic surfaces creates such spaces as 530 square meters of seats, 140 square meters of kitchens, and 50 square meters of rest rooms, in such a manner that it envelops and opens them.
‘This building has no air conditioners. It is open to the air at most seasons, and people have a meal in the air like outside air. The curved acrylic sliding door is closed only during the strong wind and the coldest season. Giving 60 mm thick urethane insulation to the outside of the RC shell and keeping a stable RC temperature secures a stable temperature environment for the building like inside and outside, and also reduces the deformation volume due to the temperature of RC to make the building last longer.
‘For the lighting plan, we have determined such illumination as makes people simply feel changes in the evening light and does not make insects gather around the lights. When it rains, rain comes in near windows and doors. In the spaces where rain does not come in, people enjoy the sound of raindrops. When it is foggy, the fog comes into the building. When it snows, it becomes a landscape buried in snow, and birds and animals will visit there. In this place like the middle between nature and art, people eat hoto rich in natural ingredients.’