Developing a material for architecture unique to Amami in between methods of traditional industries and new materials
In Amami, there are species of wood such as luchu pine (Okinawa pine; Pinus luchuensis) and itajii (sudajii; Castanopsis sieboldii.) They are mostly used as woodchips or lumber for public works, not for architectural construction. On top of that, many luchu pine trees in Amami has recently been infected and killed by pine wood nematode, leaving a negative impact on the local lumber industry.
Yamashita teamed up with a local woodcraft studio and experimented to dye itajii lumber using the method of Oshima tsumugi. Itajii, containg tannin, changes its color to dark gray when soaked in the iron-rich mud of Amami. The team accumulated data by testing various lumber thickness, soaking time, and drying methods. The roofs of all the structures and the exterior walls of the Pool Villas are clad with this newly developed material.