AUSTRALIA HOUSE - Tokamachi, Niigata, Japan

AUSTRALIA HOUSE - Tokamachi, Niigata, Japan


Andrew Burns Architects

1,292 square feet
1 bedroom
6 beds (6 single)
1 bathroom
¥3,000/night/person (+ ¥12,000 shared facility fee)
1 night minimum stay

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"Australia House was built as an art installation for the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale using an old vacant house in the area. Located in the Urada village in Matsunoyama area, Australia House was built in 2012 as a platform to foster exchange between Japan and Australia. Artists, curators and students have stayed in the house and created and presented their artworks while local people have discovered the diverse culture of Australia. We are pleased to invite the general public to experience staying in this distinctive cultural facility.  

As a symbol of long-term relationship a 100+ year old minka house in the Urada village was transformed into ‘Australia House’ for continuing exchange between the two countries. When the original Australia House was demolished by the earthquake in March 2011, an international architectural competition, with Tadao Ando as a head juror, invited proposals to build "reasonable, small and robust" architecture. The proposition by Sydney-based Andrew Burns Architects was selected from 154 entries. Its distinctive triangular shaped structure and wall materials resonate with surrounding nature. Burns’ design met the requirements to be low-cost, compact and sturdy. It presents a view of the architecture of the future as well as symbolizing recovery from the earthquake. 

Supported by the Australian Embassy, the Australia-Japan Foundation, Niigata Prefecture .  Sponsored by International Culture Appreciation and Interchange Society, Inc. Landscape produced by Yutaka Kawaguchi, Kaori Naito.”

“Australia House is a gallery, studio and atelier in the 'snow country' of Niigata Prefecture, approximately three hours north of Tokyo. The building replaces a previous structure which collapsed in a powerful aftershock on March 12, 2011. The Australian Embassy Tokyo, Tokamachi City Government and the Echigo-Tsumari Triennale resolved quickly to construct a new building and it stands as a symbol of healing and transformation in this beautiful area of Japan.

During winter, the site can experience 1.5m of snow during one day, and this was a key consideration in the design, with the roof pitching steeply. The building alternates between a familiar domestic presence and that of an art object. The interiors form a large 'perception device', heightening views of the surrounding landscape and creating opportunities for art installation.  

The proposal received first place from a field of 154 entries in an international design competition chaired by Tadao Ando. Of the design, Ando commented:  'It is difficult to form a triangle. However, it could create interesting architecture since it is difficult. I find the approach to the house attractive and different elements well arranged. The idea of dealing with snow is thoughtful, considering that the site is located in a heavy snowfall region. It would be fantastic if only the triangular roof was visible as the rest of the house is covered with three-metre-high snow’” Andrew Burns Architects



Size: 1,292 s.f.
Maximum Guests: 6
Bedrooms: 1
Beds: 6 (6 single)
Bathrooms: 1

Minimum Stay: 1 night
Daily Price: ¥3,000/person

Facilities Charge: ¥12,000/night
Check In: 4:00 p.m.
Check Out:  10:00 a.m.



Air Conditioning
Electric Cooker
Toaster Oven
Electric Hot Pot


Barbecue Grill
Wireless Internet


Smoking Allowed
Fire Extinguisher


All Year

Visiting Artworks
Hot Springs


Mountain Biking


Autumn Color Change
Hot Springs
Annual Snow Festival


Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture, 2013