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Yoshino Cedar House Go Hasegawa & Samara Airbnb

Published 10 / 04 / 2018

Yoshino Cedar House, located near Osaka, was built by local carpenters and artisans using sustainable cedar harvested from the nearby mountains. The community retreat was created through a collaboration between Airbnb designers, Samara and architects Go Hasegawa. The team sought to unite the local community while providing an essential source of income for the city.

Like many rural areas in Japan, the small town of Yoshino has an aging population that is shrinking day by day. For years the city's main industry was sustainable forestry, but without new young workers, the city's only economic boost is its annual cherry blossom festival.
From the beginning of the Cedar House project, the architects and designers worked with local foresters, loggers and carpenters, from harvesting and cutting the timber to its construction. According to the architects, the design of the Yoshino Cedar House, which is technically owned and operated by the community, aims to pay homage to the area's local traditions as well as foster new relationships among residents: "Every detail of the structure inspires connection to the people of Yoshino and their underlying traditions. »

Located on the bank of the Yoshino River, the structure is clad inside and outside with warm hued cedar planks whose intricate patterns create a calming and peaceful environment. The lower floor, with a single table integrated into the floor, houses the living room and the dining room. An open staircase leads to two separate bedrooms on the second floor. The simple and uncluttered rooms each have a mattress and a small table and are lit by natural light coming from the structure's A-window.

Since its inauguration, the townspeople have taken charge of Airbnb rental operations and all profits are used to support the community.

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Experimentation with new ways of living and working together.

  • Photographer: Edward Caruso
  • Location: Yoshino, Japan
  • Year: 2016
  • Website: