Kengo Kuma adds mountain-shaped canopies to hiking trail overlooking Mount Fuji

Japanese architecture studio Kengo Kuma and Associates designed a collection of pointed umbrella-shaped structures inspired by the surrounding mountains for a staging area in Japan.


Oath Hill Park is a rest area with restrooms and an observation deck in a rural, mountainous location along a popular hiking trail on the eastern outskirts of Oyama City in Japan.

Oath Hill Park is located on a hiking trail and provides visitors with a place to rest and use the restroom

Kengo Kuma has designed a collection of umbrella-shaped wooden structures that resemble the tapered shape and snow-capped peak of distant Mount Fuji for the small “park”.

Oath Hill Park features an observation deck sheltered under two adjacent umbrella canopies where hikers can rest, as well as restrooms adjacent to the rest area.

Image of resting canopies at Oath Hill Park with Mount Fuji in the distance
Awnings and toilets were designed by Kengo Kuma and Associates and were inspired by the summit of Mount Fuji

The two umbrella-shaped shapes, used as an observation platform and for sheltering rest, were titled Eastern House. These fit into their roof and are fully open at ground level, where they are surrounded by a long, curved bench.

The umbrella canopies are supported by large internal columns which, like the canopies themselves, were constructed using wooden pillars linked together by large iron rings.

One of the roofs that are part of the sheltered viewing areas has been wrapped in a translucent fluorine-coated membrane that reveals the wood skeleton below when illuminated.

Inside the structure of the Eastern House, the timber frame has been left exposed to highlight the structural integrity of the building and maintain a connection with the underside of the viewing and rest areas.

Oath Hill Park structures are lit from inside with warm lighting
A translucent membrane covers the roof of an awning, revealing structural integrity when illuminated

The adjoining roof was covered with an opaque material which was also treated with fluorine for its waterproof qualities.

The toilet structure has a cylindrical shape and an identical opaque peaked roof. The walls of the building have been wrapped in a white plaster that echoes the color of the roof that tops it, as well as the snow of Mount Fuji.

Oath Hill Park structrues pictured against views of Mount Fuji
The structures were built using wooden pillars and iron

Elsewhere in Japan, the nonprofit Nippon Foundation organized Tokyo Toilet, a project that saw architects modernize the downtown Tokyo district of Shibuya public toilets.

As part of the project, Toyo Ito created a public toilet housed in three mushroom-shaped volumes, while Wonderwall referred to primitive Japanese huts by constructing toilets in a maze of concrete walls marked with planks.

Kengo Kuma and Associates recently unveiled plans to add a contemporary sculptural stone entrance to a Gothic cathedral in France. The architectural firm also built the cedar-clad Japan National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


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