Japanese Railway Sleeper house

Shin Takasuga built this house from railway sleepers on Miyake Island. In the 1970's Japanese architects were striving to find their own original style . One example of this search between centuries old traditions and rigid Modernism is this building, named simply 'Railway Sleeper House'. The house is situated on the small island of Miyake in the Pacific Ocean.

It was planned in the 1970's as both a retreat and a communal residential building. Lack of money meant that the inhabitants had to build the house from scratch themselves. Shin Takasuga's decision to use old, wooden railway sleepers resulted in a 5 year construction time. But it was not the using railway sleepers that was novel, it was the using of one single type of construction material and method for the whole structure - walls, floors, columns, roof structure and even built in furniture as well. The 3 storey building was situated on a slope and built on top of a concrete floor. A cathedral in all but name. An inspirational achievement.

Untreated used hardwood railway sleepers

RailwaySleepers.com Says..

In the land of railway sleepers, this must count as one of the seven wonders of the world. Our Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China or Notre Dame. The pinacle of human achievement and imagination with railway sleepers. A stunning creation of originality and daring. Breathtaking.