Architecture firm Kengo Kuma and Associates designed this house in Hokkaidō, Japan to experiment with optimal cold weather insulation. The modern, translucent building was inspired by the 'Chise' architecture of the indigenous Ainu, who keep a fire constantly burning in the center of their homes to maintain warmth throughout the winter.
According to the architects, "the fundamental idea of Chise, 'house of the earth,' is to keep warming up the ground this way and retrieve the radiation heat generated from it." The insulation itself was made from recycled plastic bottles, so light comes in through the walls. They add that, "without relying on any lighting system, you simply get up when it gets light, and sleep after dark. We expect this membrane house enables you to lead a life that synchronizes the rhythm of nature."
The environmental technology institute that commissioned this design will use the house to examine "how different factors affect the thermal qualities of its construction." Hopefully, this testing will lead to more efficient insulation on a much larger scale down the road. Check out the gallery below for a closer look at this interesting, translucent experimental house.