They Wanted Something Different

They Wanted Something Different

It looks like a small country church seen in a Surrealist’s dream.

In reality, it is L’Angolino, an Italian restaurant in Japan, designed by Kyoto architectural firm Geneto. The 61m2 building is made chiefly of reinforced plywood, clad in a monocoque skin of FRP.

The owner, a native of the small town in the Gunma prefecture, wanted to give his hometown something distinctive, a landmark to make the place more memorable and recognizable. The architect researched the area, and selected this pointy shape as one that was not represented anywhere else in the region.

The owner also wanted to build it himself, so architect Asako Yamashita designed a structure of plywood walls, arches, and roof that would be easy to build with limited skills.

It is covered in waterproof FRP. Small triangular windows admit multiple shafts of light, but the largely unglazed walls are intended to help restaurant guests feel comfortably isolated from the nearby roadway.

Photos by Yasutake Kondo via