Hoto Fudo by Takeshi Hosaka Architects


Japanese studio Takeshi Hosaka Architects have completed an igloo-like noodle restaurant near Mount Fuji, Japan.

Called Hoto Fudo, the building allows air from outdoors to circulate through large openings in the walls, apart from in the coldest season when curved acrylic sliding doors are used.

The design allows rain to fall at the edges of the interior, fog to enter through the openings and wind to circulate under the reinforced concrete shell.

Photographs are by Koji Fujii/Nacasa & Partners

The text below is from Takeshi Hosaka:


HOTO FUDO This is a building like inside and outside.

The project was planned on the site with Mt. Fuji rising closely in the south and the two sides facing the trunk roads.

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.

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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.

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*HOTO is traditional local noodle food.
Name of the project    HOTO FUDO

Location of the project Fuji Kawaguchiko, Minamituru-gun, Yamanashi, JAPAN
It is far from Tokyo about two hours by the train. It is near the Mt.Fuji.

Structure: RC
Site: 2493.82 m2
Building area: 733.98 m2
Floor area ratio: 726.30 m2
Building height: 7460 mm
No. of floors: 1F
Building function: A local traditional food restaurant

Posted on Thursday January 7th 2010 at 8:50 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • The building is interesting … but as a restaurant it looks curiously uninviting. It seems more like a cafeteria. There’s no real sense of intimacy. It might work as a store or an office or even a chapel … but I wouldn’t want to have a nice dinner there.

  • IGOR


  • Partha Thakuria

    i liked this project..
    I would like know more about contemporary and modern Korean architecture..

  • Raul

    Very intresting. A bit dull from the inside though.

  • The views interact very well in the project!!…..Inside looking inside, inside looking outside and outside looking inside!….nice!

  • @Chuck Anziulewicz It probably is a lot closer to cafeteria than anything else. Certainly a noodle restaurant would be casual, and the seating makes it look, as you say, like a cafeteria. It’s probably a road cafe.

    @Partha Thakuria Time to dust off that atlas! It’s only on REALLY clear days that you can see Mount Fuji from Korea.

  • Brilliant architecture, but poor furnishing..

  • LOW

    I love this, I really really do, it´s a japanese igloo of deliciousness

  • Janus Milo

    I like very much. This is a bit like Teletubie’s house in the winter, under the snow. That’s very nice to live in a roud construction.

  • TH

    really want to know how the details work inside… especially M&E
    the architect hides them well. haha.

  • Sonne

    Haha, love the name.
    The project itself is very playful but maybe a tad to much Barbapapa for my taste… And the amount of windows for a building of that size is just claustrophobic. The furnishings, as some people have noted, feels like it is intended for some other space, and lacks the playfulness of the shell.
    Otherwise, lets go for it, it’s fun, and thats not something you can blame much other architecture to be.

  • It has the qualities of Heinz Isler + Muji-in a good way. The forms are modest yet carefully considered(rain, structure, lighting).

    However, it doesn’t seem specific to a program. I personally wouldn’t use inside-outside as a main concept for this, as inside-outside can be applied to anything with a big window/opening, and it is unclear if this inside-outside has to do with the contrast of visual depth or the air continuity. Sure, we can talk about those qualities, but I cannot help but feel that the main point of the project is somewhere else…

  • 0hzone


    so uninviting. all the money spent on the form and no thought of how to make the interior spaces work, or be furnished.

    as for siting – who places a carpark between the restaurant and the view you came to see – a shot of the carpak full of cars would have been interesting!

    nice idea poorly executed.

  • xtiaan

    I like the domes within domes idea
    very nice indeedy

  • yrag

    Simplicity of form can attact or repel.

    As much as I was put off by the harsh Butalism of the T2 project and the Lad Musician Nagoya by General Design shown here in Dezeen, so I am drawn into the clean and graceful elegance of Hoto Fudo by Takeshi Hosaka Architects.

    Good work!

  • aisha

    looks kinda similar to bv doshi s gufa…

  • Kai

    I like how it looks, and the beautiful wooden furniture on the inside complements the stark interior. I have a Tak Yoshino (woodworker who made all the furniture inside this place) stool, and I absolutely love it. If I could commission him to do a whole room in my house, I’d do it in an instant!

  • Jenny Handley

    I like this. It's not pretending to be anything that it's not. It's for eating noodles. It is exactly as the architect describes – the weather comes in, nature comes in, you can look at mt. fuji. so there is a carpark there, but it's not like you are paying for a seat in a top class, expensive resteraunt is it? so it suits. it's simple, and it's not pretending to be anything other than that, except it is simple with some beauty at the same time. The interior furniture is cool. Suits the purpose and concept of the building. It is gentle and complementary to its position.

  • Oh and just to add, the building kind of resembles an igloo with it's icey white interior and entrances open to the outdoor air… doesn't that just make eating hot steamy noodles all the more enjoyable?!

  • Anon

    This is in Japan people… There is no need to make the building more "inviting"… It is simple, elegant and what it needs to be. Would've seen in on a mountain slope, slightly covered by some earth rather than in the middle of the streets though.

  • LASimard

    Élégant and may be very adapted for North, hum…. Maybe something there…

  • Linnnnnn

    Such a waste of the view! Concrete caves surrounded, only two or three tables could see the Fuji mountain through a ‘hole’ from the north. I should say it’s the best part of the building. Make sense, and make it living.