Translucent Living: Memu Meadows House in Japan

The experimental and beautiful Memu Meadows house in Japan synchronizes with nature’s rhythms to test the limits of architecture in cold climates.

Looking completely translucent, the structure derives its concept from the traditional “Chise” buildings of the indigenous Ainu tribes of Japan.

Ainu buildings, know as “houses of Earth”, were designed around a constantly burning fireplace. The structures were built using naturally insulating materials such as bamboo grass for walls or reed for thatching on the roofs; able to retain heat from the fireplace throughout the house.

Memu Meadows is a modern interpretation of “chise architecture” by Kengo Kuma and Associates, and has been constructed using a sheer double membrane of polyester, glass-fiber fabric, and recycled plastic bottles. These almost transparent materials maintain a constant temperature, as well as provide a natural lighting system.

“You simply get up when it gets light, and sleep after dark — we expect that this membrane house enables you to lead a life that synchronizes the rhythm of the nature,” explained the architects to Dezeen recently.

You can explore fresh perspectives on energy in our In The Air report, The Power of the Invisible, and find out more about a new generation of smart materials that can harvest food and generate energy in our coverage of the most recent Transnatural Festival.

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