Xerjoff Magazine

“PokoPoko”, a clubhouse in the forest


Located in the luxuriant nature of Nasu highlands, about an hour away from Tokyo, “Poko Poko” is a clubhouse and an activity centre dedicated to adults and children and pervaded by a fairytale atmosphere.

Sometimes architects, with their works, have fun creating environments with a strong evocative power that communicate an imagery more related to a fairytale dimension than to everyday life. This is the case of the project “PokoPoko”, a clubhouse and activity centre part of the Risonare Nasu Hotel complex immersed in nature in Japan’s Nasu highlands, just an-hour’s drive from Tokyo’s city centre. “The aim of the project – said Mark Dytham, co-founder of studio Klein Dytham Architecture that designed the complex – was to create a fairytale building in a forest glade, some iconic buildings whose roofs would stand out from the dense green of the trees.”

“PokoPoko” (Japanese onomatopoeic word indicating the sound of popping up, for example of bamboos among the trees) is made up of three different buildings joined by conical wooden roofs (the local pine tree), distinctive elements of the structure.” “PokoPoko” will be used as activity centre and relax space for the Risonare Nasu Hotel customers. Each of the three buildings was designed to have a specific function, with the central one dedicated to food preparation and consumption. In this space the hotel guests will be able to participate in a food workshop, make jams (using fruits offered by the local vegetable garden) and make pizzas thanks to the wood-fire oven available there. The two adjacent structures will instead be dedicated to children with some toys and to adults with a fireplace in the middle of the space, surrounded by the elegant couches of the “Dora Dora” collection designed years ago by studio Klein Dytham Architecture.