Bunkhouse in Kyushu

Northern Kyushu, JAPAN


House-building carpenters in Japan are traditionally responsible for most of the tasks an architect would undertake in the West, as well as all the timber joinery preparation and on-site work. Harumi Shinmura is an traditionally-trained residential carpenter working in Japan’s western island of Kyushu. She is my aunt and a guiding figure in my life and I am fortunate to regularly learn from her whilst working with her on her new-build projects.

Her latest project is a small (4x8m), single-storey bunk house for cooking enthusiasts; a simple rectangular stop-over shelter with a raised floor and a single-sloped roof. The whole structure was made with cypress and cedar woods which are ideal for Japan’s hot and humid climate. Timber buildings in general are particularly good at regulating moisture in these climates and have been developed over many centuries for adverse weather and counteracting earthquakes.

Built: 2020
Shinmura Carpenters