The city of Tomioka is known for its world heritage Tomioka Silk Mill. Within its dark-brown townscape, The Chamber of Commerce purchased “Yoshino Gofuku-ten” a traditional Kimono store to relocate to. The project began as a rejuvenation of the historical landscape, brought about due to a road expansion that saw the demolition of the old conference hall. It is often difficult to maintain a traditional shop in its original form. Unlike in private houses, it is destined to be redesigned according to daily needs. Yoshino kimono store was no exception, as it had undergone some haphazard renovations – many timber columns had been cut off and it was reinforced by a steel framework. It was a wonder how it had remained its form to this day. The main house began to collapse, and soon all it had left was the street facade. It became a hazard and was immediately removed, only its roof tiles were to be preserved. The storehouse, despite losing some pillars, was able to be reinforced and conserved. The two preserved roof was capped with plaster-works traditional to the area; the storehouse with its original, and main house with a reconstruction. “Tomioka is not a town that only thrives on the past. We want the future to be expressed through the building.” This was the request from the president of the Chamber of Commerce upon beginning the construction. Having companies such as IHI with their space rockets, and Nihon Kouden with medical equipment, Tomioka is home to many world leaders in technologies.
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