House M 
        2021

Location: Taito-ku, Tokyo

Major use: Private house

Project type: Renovation

Completion: Dec., 2021

Total Floor Area: 146.66 sqm

Structure: Wood

Contractor: NENGO

Photos: Forward Stroke Inc.

Magazine: KJ Aug. 2022 LINK

   JUTAKU-SEKKEI.jp LINK

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Before renovation.

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Tiles and railings on the exterior wall were removed.

The roof tiles on the wall and the front door were replaced.

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Before renovation.  Entrance hall.

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Garden and 1F dining.

Entrance hall. The depth is expanded by using a mirror.

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1F dining kitchen. A kitchen was installed in the room that was the study room before the renovation.

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1F dining and the entrance hall. The finish is continuous.

Bathroom.

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1F bedroom and terrace. A wooden louver fence was installed on the aluminum fence.

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Before renovation.

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2F LDK. By removing the old kitchen that lay in the center before the renovation, a spacious and bright space was realized.

You can install your favorite lighting on the lighting rail on the dining ceiling in the future.

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The kitchen, lighting, and tile joints have been aligned.

The waist wall of the island kitchen is finished with the same material as the top plate.

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Gray tile floors and the wall color matches  the wooden furniture.

The painted walls have a  rough texture by the hands of craftsmen.

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The wall surface was made flat with the window frame.

By making the doors to the corridor sliding glass doors, the space is expanding.

2F kitchen. In order to reuse the existing piping, the position of the island kitchen was adjusted in millimeters on site.

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2F hall. The space is continuous with the same finish as the LDK.

3F hall.  Diagonal louvers were installed.

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The master bedroom on the 3rd floor. The space for a child can be partitioned by sliding doors.

It can be used as a private room by closing the sliding door.

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Child(sister)'s space.

Children (brothers) room and a balcony on your right.

"Two-family house to share"

     A renovation project for a new resident. We renovated a 19-year-old private house due to the change of the resident. The new resident's family consists of a grandmother, father, mother, and 3 children (2 brothers and a small sister). The purpose of this project was creating a space where they can feel a sense of unity between two households even if the living floors are different.

     In Japan, about two-family homes, there are many cases where the living space is completely separated, such as having two entrances. But in this project, a home originally designed for one household would be renovated into a two-family home. Therefore, it was necessary to study what was needed to be shared and what was not.

 

     A new small dining room with a new kitchen was planned on the first floor so that the grandmother's life could be completed on the ground level. The bathroom on the first floor was shared by the whole family, and the second and third floors were designed as a space for a family of five. Since the family of five wanted to make this house into a place where many friends would be able to gather, we decided to plan a large living dining room with a kitchen counter on the second floor.

 

     Aiming for the house where they can feel a sense of unity between two households, the dining room on the first floor and the living dining room on the second floor are separated from the corridor by glass sliding doors, and are connected visually to the corridor and stairs. We designed these spaces as one public area.

 

     The client wanted to make the house welcoming guests. So, we created a space like a small hotel in order to improve the hospitality of the space. The floors in the public area were tiled, and the finishing materials were continuous as much as possible to connect the spatial experience. On the contrary, the bedroom was completely changed in finish materials, and the space experience was cut off, and private spaces only for the family were secured like hotel's guestrooms. In addition, the exterior wall has been renovated only on the facade.

     The children will be on the first floor while gathering the couple's friends on the second floor. Their grandmother will be chatting with her friends in the dining kitchen on the first floor, watching the children playing in the garden. The boundary between the two households becomes ambiguous. It may be possible to create a situation that can be called a "1.5-family house".

 

 

"Arranging the existing structure as it should be"

     Wood carving and stone carving sculptors observe the material closely and derive the final shape. When building a new architecture, we imagine the final form from an empty site, but there are endless options there. In the case of renovation like this time, there is a material called existing architecture, and depending on the conditions, extra elements are removed and necessary items are added. In that way, it can be said that it is similar to the work of sculpture in that it derives what it should be.

 

     If you look closely at the structure, you can see what the building should be, regardless of the owner's conditions. From the viewpoint of cost and waste reduction, I want to reuse it without destroying it too much, but I think that the most creative work in the renovation is how much it should be destroyed and how much it should be scraped off. I don't think the kitchen on the second floor before this renovation was what it should be. Of course, there is no answer to the housing plan because each family has their own circumstances, but our plan is the result of carefully observing the positions of the columns and beams and the bearing walls and shaping the structure into what it should be.

     When it comes to renovation, we tend to focus on updating equipment such as surface finishes, furniture, kitchens and bathrooms, but once we hide the information layer on the surface, we make it a pure "thing" and make it a simple shape. I think that is what will lead to a living space that will be loved for a long time.

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ROOF PLAN

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BEFORE - 1F PLAN

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AFTER - 1F PLAN

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BEFORE - 2F PLAN

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AFTER - 2F PLAN

BEFORE - 3F PLAN

AFTER - 3F PLAN

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AFTER - SECTION