Atelier in Omori
Location: Ota-ku, Tokyo
Major use: Office
Project type: Renovation
Completion: Feb., 2022
Total Floor Area: 40.50 sqm
Contractor: Tokyo Kenchiku Inc.
Photos: Forward Stroke Inc.
Magazine: KJ Aug. 2022 LINK
Floor before renovation.
"Layer x Green"
We planned a landscape architect's atelier in a room of a 48-year-old SOHO building near Omori Station in Tokyo. There is a park called Omori Shell Mound Ruins Garden near the planned site, and Omori Shell Mound is called "the birthplace of Japanese archeology" because the first academic excavation survey in Japan was conducted here. For planning a landscape atelier in such a land with that history, the design was assembled with the concept of "Layer x Green".
Since plants are placed in the room, the walls were finished with a light green water-based paint in consideration of compatibility with plants. The floor is finished with self-leveling material so that plants can be placed and it can be used freely, aiming for a bright and transparent interior. The furniture, such as the layered shelves with stacked boxes of China plywood, was made from laminated plywood in the image of the stratum. The stacking shelves are sized so that the A4 file box fits snugly, and shelves of two different dimensions are stacked with a gap. The top plate of the desk was finished by linoleum, a natural material, on laminated plywood.
There were no handrails on the windowsill, probably because it was a too old building. Therefore, for the part where the window opens, a ladder-shaped surface lattice was designed and made of laminated plywood to prevent it from falling. Ivy plants can be entwined in normal times, but the details are made removable by sliding it sideways so that it can be rescued from the window in the time of an emergency.
The 48-year-old building has a long history. The big floor air conditioner that was originally installed was an outdoor unit integrated type that is rarely used now, and there was no outdoor unit space, so there was no option other than window air conditioners for air conditioning. When the wallpaper was peeled off, the paper that had been re-covered many times in the past remained, and it took a lot of time to adjust the base of the paint. When the tile carpet was peeled off from the floor, the underlying mortar deteriorated severely, and some uneven were also seen. Therefore, a new waterproof sheet was added and the floor was flattened with a self-leveling material.
In addition, since there was a water leak before the repair, it took time to deal with it, and the inside of the drainage pipe was cleaned, so we carefully responded to the piping equipment. For the part where the unit bath was dismantled and changed to a storage, the ceiling and beam type were left as the base so that the old skeleton can be seen.
In this way, the renovation of architecture half a century ago was the accumulation of coping therapies, and the process of reworking the plan while dismantling was so time-consuming that it could be called "architectural archeology." Nevertheless, we would like to pay tribute to the clients who have found value in using this space comfortably for a long time, and we are pleased that we are entering an era in which such architectural stock will be utilized for a long time in Japan.
Storage after renovation.