Terrace House near Demachiyanagi

View all 22 Photos

A renovated house that celebrates the soul of traditional Japanese living via contemporary design.

Modern Japanese houses usually integrate traditional elements in their design, but this typical post-war row house in the suburbs of Kyoto stands out with its thoughtful combination of old and new elements. Australian-Japanese studio Atelier Luke restored and extended the dwelling. Named Terrace House near Demachiyanagi, the project involved the thoughtful renovation of the 1950s terrace house, the removal of subsequent interventions, and the creation of a modern living spaces that still honor the principles of traditional Japanese living. The renovation stage allowed the architects to strip back the house to its original form and thus celebrate its character.

Restored using traditional methods and materials, the historic front facade boasts mushikomado lattice windows. By removing the interior linings, the team uncovered large wooden beams and the house’s timber structure. Painted black, the ceiling creates areas of deep shadow that enhance the brightness of the surrounding spaces and also create a play between darkness and light. In the middle, there’s a cedar volume that houses the bathroom, a laundry, and a kitchen. A ladder leads to the loft area with a bedroom space of Japanese tatami mats cloaked in sleep-inducing darkness. This middle section of the dwelling boasts hand-troweled cement mortar walls and flooring.

At the back, a larger cedar wood volume filled with natural light features a private garden. This area also opens completely to the back street via wooden sliding doors – a rarity in Japanese suburban homes. Contrasting the traditional look of the front facade, the rear of the house features a contemporary black steel frame  as well as wood batten screens that allow the light to filter through into the interior. The Japanese-style living spaces celebrate the tradition of slow living and the beauty of solid timber. The studio used cedar wood from the Yoshino region to craft the new structures, linings, joinery, cabinets, and cladding. Polished brass trims and custom lighting brighten the shadow areas with hints of golden light. Photographs© Yohei Sasakura.

    string(5) "admin"
Tags: , ,

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

More for you

  • Emma’s House

    A modern house partly built within the ruins of a stable in the Italian Alps….

  • Threshold Stairs House

    A Corten steel and wood extension designed for an existing house in Spain. Situated in…

  • Redhill Barn

    A farm building from 1810 transformed into a warm house that celebrates its past. Located…

  • The Brook

    A tiny house that’s big on comfort and sustainable design. Designed and built by Australian…

  • Casa del Sapo

    A concrete house built on a beach in Oaxaca, Mexico. Contemporary Mexican architecture merges traditional…

  • Kostelec Residence

    An elongated one-story volume built in the countryside in the Cezch Republic. Located in the…

  • Alexander House

    An architecture firm’s office, this house is also a residential architecture showcase. Designed by architecture…

  • House LO

    A sustainable house designed to become a part of a natural landscape. Designed by Lina…

  • House D-S

    An imaginative and modern take on Flemish architecture. Many architectural designs draw inspiration from their…

  • Gawthorne’s Hut

    A cozy off-grid retreat built among pastures on a working farm in Australia. Inspired by…

  • Mono House

    A concrete house designed with nine solid volumes and eleven patios. Located in Córdoba, Argentina,…

Take me there

  • Heckfield Place

    Refined design and sustainability meet in a high-end hotel in Hampshire, England. Baptized by FT…

  • Baja Club Hotel

    A colonial-style villa from 1910 and a contemporary volume transformed into a refined lifestyle hotel….

  • Piaule Catskill

    A tranquil retreat in upstate New York. After founding their own homeware brand, Piaule, in…