Text description provided by the architects.
PokoPoko is named after the Japanese onomatopoeic term “poko poko,” meaning to stick out, and like a folkloric landmark, it can be seen from afar, its three conical roofs mysteriously peeking out from the surrounding woodland of the Nasu Highlands. Located in a lush farming region of northern Tochigi Prefecture, against the backdrop of Mount Nasu, it’s just 75 minutes by bullet train from Tokyo.
A family-oriented clubhouse and activity center, PokoPoko is a playful architectural connection between two of Hoshino Resorts Risonare Nasu’s hotel structures — its original 1986 guest house and a later addition.
With both those buildings extended and renovated, bringing the total number of rooms to 40, a new footbridge and meandering pathway through the site’s forest was built to link the two complexes. PokoPoko, like a fairy tale cottage, appears in a clearing halfway along the winding path.
Up close, PokoPoko’s three rooftops reveal themselves to be conjoined into a single contemporary building, with each of its huge cones subtly different in shape and playfully asymmetric to face a different direction.
Glass walls at the base keep the structure open, showing the individual functions of each structure. The middle cone features a pizza oven and kitchen, where parents and kids can enjoy cooking activities and workshops using vegetables picked from the hotel’s farmland. To the right, an open fireplace and comfy furniture offers a cosy space to wind down and relax, while children can release their energy in the third cone — an indoor playground featuring a giant conical climbing net that stretches up to the skylight, all secured above the safety of a large ball pool.
PokoPoko reflects a desire to slow down, enjoy being with the family, explore the local environment and find fun in the simpler things in life.
Its aesthetic is rhythmical and natural, the hut-inspired cones constructed from locally sourced pine and wood offcuts. Each inner beam is composed of two pine poles, webbed with offcuts. They rise from lower steel rings, slanting inward to connect to smaller rooftop rings that form skylights to draw in natural light during the day.
The beams are covered in a layer of plywood, followed by insulation held in place by a grid of timber battens. A second layer of plywood and a breathable membrane was placed before installing earthy toned roof shingles. Its glass walls offer a panoramic view of the forest, making being inside as pleasurable as exploring outdoors, come rain or shine.
PokoPoko Clubhouse Gallery