During the months of May and June, I’ve been working as the primary builder and workshop instructor of the straw bale portions of Café Slow, a café just west of Tokyo and the nucleus of a number of environmental currents in Japan and abroad. http://www.cafeslow.com/
The café serves fair trade coffee and vegan, organic meals, and sells various organic and fair trade goods. The café needed to move from its previous location and wanted to use straw bales in its new interior. There were a total of 10 workshops in which well over 100 people participated, children and adults alike.
This is what the site looked like on May 1.
On June 14 and 15, Café Slow held an opening party.
At the entrance of the café there is a small straw bale wall inspired by the Okinawan Henpun, a wall built just inside the entrance of homes in Okinawa to keep unwanted energies and spirits from entering the house.
We also plastered the bathrooms with Keisoudo, a commercial earthen lime, cement plaster.
Café Slow was designed by Oiwa-sensei, the architect I work with most for my research. Beginning in July we’ll be building a straw bale café in Chiba-Prefecture for Saya Takagi, a rather famous actress who’s become a back-to-the-lander. However, unlike Café Slow that uses straw bales mainly as an ornamental interior, the straw bale café in Chiba will be a post and beam structure with straw bale infill.