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PokoPoko Club House | Klein Dytham architecture


PokoPoko Club House Design Idea

Located in the northern part of Tochigi prefecture, the Nasu Highlands are easily accessible, with a bullet train ride from Tokyo taking just 75 minutes to reach the heart of this verdant agricultural area, set against the backdrop of Mount Nasu. The inception of PokoPoko stemmed from a client’s desire to unify two existing hotel structures in the exact location. The overarching vision encompassed the extension and enhancement of both buildings and their respective rooms and involved integrating an original, smaller guest house dating back to 1986 and a subsequent addition. This endeavor resulted in a collective room count of 40 across the site.

PokoPoko

© Mark Dytham

A new footbridge subtly connects the two complexes while a meandering path winds through the lush forest, akin to a scene from a fairy tale. Nestled midway along this path lies a modern cottage known as PokoPoko. It presents an iconic image from a distance, with three roof cones whimsically protruding in different directions from the treetops. The name “PokoPoko” is derived from the Japanese phrase “poko poko,” signifying something sticking out or standing tall.

PokoPoko

© Nacasa & Partners

The newly constructed PokoPoko serves as a family-oriented clubhouse and activity center for the hotel’s guests. Each roof cone serves a distinct purpose. The central cone accommodates cooking activities, focusing on fresh ingredients cultivated on the hotel’s grounds. Young and old guests can engage in various food-related workshops, crafting their own jams, pickles, and even pizzas using vegetables and herbs harvested from nearby fields.

PokoPoko

© Nacasa & Partners

An adjacent cone features a tall white net structure designed to entice children to climb toward the skylight while younger kids can revel in a ball pool at the base. This indoor playground provides youngsters with an outlet for energy, even when the weather discourages outdoor play. Meanwhile, parents can unwind around an open fireplace beneath the opposing roof cone. Hotel guests gather around the fire, seated on Klein Dytham Architecture’s Dora Dora furniture, enjoying their favorite drinks, reading books, gazing into the flames, and reminiscing about childhood memories of camping in the woods and toasting marshmallows on a bonfire. They also savor the 360° view of the surrounding trees.

PokoPoko

© Nacasa & Partners

PokoPoko effortlessly balances liveliness and tranquility, forging a seamless connection with the encompassing forest and providing the sensation of spending a day in nature, even during inclement weather.The building’s roof structure is constructed from locally sourced pine. Two slender timber components, interspersed with off-cuts, are configured as beams that ascend from a lower steel ring beam to a smaller ring, which is part of the roof light. These beams are clad with plywood sheets, creating a taut outer layer. A layer of rigid insulation is held in place by a lattice of timber battens, forming a ventilated cavity further enclosed by another layer of plywood.
The project has experienced immediate success, with the hotel and clubhouse being in high demand as people seek opportunities to escape Japan’s cities and opt for countryside staycations, which align with social distancing practices.

PokoPoko

Elevation

Project Info:
Architects: Klein Dytham architecture
Area: 300 m²
Year: 2020
Photographs: Mark Dytham, Brian Scott Peterson, Nacasa & Partners
Construction: Tobu Construction
Structural Engineer: TECTONICA
M & E: Architectural Energy Research
Landscape Designer: STUDIO terra
Client: Hoshino Resort
Lighting Design: FDS
City: Nasu
Country: Japan

 



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