Cannes Lions

Yoshino Cedar House

SAMARA, San Francisco / AIRBNB / 2017

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Overview

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Overview

Description

Airbnb is a people-powered platform that allows homeowners to make money from renting their homes to travelers. In Yoshino, we aimed to build a structure that could use the Airbnb platform to benefit the entire community. Unlike classic home sharing -- where an individual host rents to guests -- the Cedar House is owned by the village and managed by a host cooperative, including members of the elder population. A hybrid community center/apartment, the Yoshino Cedar House is truly a human-centric approach to job creation — encouraging tourism to the village while fomenting community within Yoshino.

Execution

The Yoshino Cedar House is a 2-story hybrid community center/apartment house. It uses Yoshino cedar, grown, harvested, processed locally, and was built by local carpenters and craftsmen. The house’s design and execution are based on the ancient Japanese concept of engawa, with open hallways and a ledge that extends beyond the border of the house to invite in visitors to engage with the architecture. This public extension of the floor plane blurs the boundary between inside and out, as well as public and private. The first floor is open to the entire community, while the upper floor can be rented out to overnight guests on the Airbnb platform.

Outcome

The house has had an 80% occupancy rate since opening in Yoshino in February 2017. The Yoshino Cedar House, as a model of rural community revitalization through architecture, is a model which can be tested and applied not only in Japan, but in villages across the globe.

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