Last week I decided to go for a wander around Kew Gardens, and stumbled upon a reconstructed minka house. 民家 is the Japanese for minka, which can be split up into 民 meaning people and 家 meaning house; showing that minka can be translated as house of the people.
Minka are traditional Japanese houses made out of a sturdy wooden frame with mud plastered walls and a steeply sloping thatched roof. This design meant that they were easily rebuilt in case of earthquakes, and in snowy winters the roof could cope with the weather. The structures were incredibly eco friendly as the materials could be recycled or used as fuel when dismantled.
The shape of these houses is reminiscent of a Swiss chalet designed to survive rough weather conditions whilst providing ventilation during the summer.