At the intersection between the foothills of Tateyama and local villages of Susono, Toyama, we designed a sake brewery that acts as a bridge between French champagne brewing and Japanese sake brewing craftsmanship.
This project was a result of the long friendship between Kengo Kuma and Richard Geoffroy, the “cellarmaster of champagne.” Richard’s love and respect for Japanese sake led to the innovative project of blending champagne and sake yeast.
Taking cues from the local agricultural housing in the Tonami plains, we designed an unassuming yet expansive roof to provide space for brewing, community, and accommodation.
By burying the cellars underground, in an earthen “doma”, we sought to create an intimate connection with the ground that takes advantage of the passive temperature control. The accommodations for brewers and staff during brewing season is located adjacent to the brewing facilities, allowing a fluid connection between daily activities and craft.
Local materials such as cedar from nearby shrine land, leather straps wrapped on handrails from local cows, washi paper mixed with rice, chaff and soil, were used to create a close connection between the architecture and the local land.