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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Koumori-An 1945-2015 in Wakayama, Japan by Atsumasa Tamura design office

 
November 25th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Atsumasa Tamura design office

Value in Keeping

The 70-years old house was inherited from Owner’s aunt, who bought the original structure to teach Tea Ceremony. A new living quarter was added later to complete this wooden single-story building. It had been left as storage for years and was too damaged, yet Owner chose to keep the old characters, despite cost & time, than to build a new. Inspired by his wish, the renovation began not just to restore but rather to create a space where the old section merges into the new in a harmonious way. The “Koumori-An” house offers the concept of “Value in Keeping” which no new house can imitate.

After the renovation, façade December, 2015, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

After the renovation, façade December, 2015, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

  • Architects: Atsumasa Tamura design office
  • Project: Koumori-An 1945-2015
  • Location: Wakayama, Japan
  • Photography: Sohei Terui
  • Lead Architects: Atsumasa Tamura
  • Structure Scale: Single-story wooden building
  • Site area: 256.13 m2
  • Building area: 153.54 m2
  • Total floor space: 152.67 m2
  • Completion Year: January, 2016

The space inherits the metrics of old Japanese building and adjusts present living style, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

The space inherits the metrics of old Japanese building and adjusts present living style, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Style of the House

The seventy-years old building was not at all an iconic structure but just an ordinary house with Kirizuma roof.  Yet the style of the house should not be changed drastically as it was a part of the landscape and its memory. It is valuable not because it is aged, but because it has been there shaping the local scenery as a part of town.

What must be changed was not the style of the house – but the style to live in.

Viewing dining room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Viewing dining room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Ex-Japanese room building, tea-ceremony room (study), Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Ex-Japanese room building, tea-ceremony room (study), Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

5 Shaku 7 Sun (Traditional Metrics)

How to incorporate the history of 70 years into the modern life style, how can it be remodeled into a new living space? If New Section had been renovated to suit the modern living style, the inside measurement would have become too different from Old Section which was built in the traditional Japanese metrics. Naturally the life style on Tatami differs from the contemporary style with chairs. If two set of metrics had been introduced in adjoining space, Old Section would have been recognized as simply out-of-date and there would have been no harmony.

Viewing living room and kitchen from dining room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Viewing living room and kitchen from dining room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Koumori Window, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Koumori Window, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Therefore the traditional Japanese metrics, “5 Shaku 7 Sun”, was applied to New Section. With the same inside measurement, Old and New are connected in a harmonious way, and by keeping the proportion, the design of New Section was free from the restriction of the traditional Japanese Style.

Viewing Terrace from Guest room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Viewing Terrace from Guest room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

5 Shaku 7 Sun(1726mm) Unified the inside measurement under Japanese traditional metrics, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

5 Shaku 7 Sun(1726mm) Unified the inside measurement under Japanese traditional metrics, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Terrace of Space

An open and spacious terrace was arranged in the middle of the house complex, as the intersection of Old and New Sections, and inside and outside space. The terrace is accessible from New Section, Corridor and Old Section, implying that both new and old parts are in unison. Also the terrace roof is extended to the Living room, as if to show the terrace, Corridor and Dining area are one connected room.

Terrace of Space that connects old space and new space and makes outside and inside meet each other, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Terrace of Space that connects old space and new space and makes outside and inside meet each other, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Viewing kitchen, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Viewing kitchen, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

The old space is not there to make a contrast to the new, but to produce the harmony using the same metrics. By doing so, the design is able to expand further. Newly renovated space has become a place where the history of 70 years can be felt and enjoyed, establishing the concept of “Value in Keeping”.

Covered in Snow

On the day the house was completed, a rare snow fell in Wakayama.

The traditional Japanese styled garden with white camellia blossoms, dry landscape, maple and moth, was all in white. Light, wind, rain, snow – all natural aspects can be felt in the house. Such a feeling is essential to enjoy the richness in Life.

Viewing kitchen from dining room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Viewing kitchen from dining room, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Before the renovation, façade August, 2013, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Before the renovation, façade August, 2013, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Before the renovation New section, corridor, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Before the renovation New section, corridor, Image Courtesy © Sohei Terui

Field survey drawing. Executed a detailed surveying on the field due to absence of a print because the house is 70 years old, Image Courtesy © Atsumasa Tamura design office

Field survey drawing. Executed a detailed surveying on the field due to absence of a print because the house is 70 years old, Image Courtesy © Atsumasa Tamura design office

Before the renovation, plan S=1/150 After the renovation, plan S=1/150, Image Courtesy © Atsumasa Tamura design office

Before the renovation, plan S=1/150 After the renovation, plan S=1/150, Image Courtesy © Atsumasa Tamura design office

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Categories: House, Renovation, Residential

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