Text description provided by the architects. This repair and renovation project took place in an area of Kawasaki, Ise City, Mie Prefecture where the townscape of the Edo period still remains, at the main house of a long-established general merchandise wholesaler known among the people of Ise. The construction of the main house in the premises to be repaired and renovated was originally built in 1929. The gabled roof and details of the exterior exhibit the characteristics of Kawasaki to a great extent.
The client was a family of four including two infants. We were requested to remodel the interior of the building after current lifestyle and interior design to raise small children without stress while respecting the structure of the existing building with history and preserving it for posterity.
Our plan was to maintain the current appearance of the building and reuse materials as much as possible, as it is a symbolic structure of the area. For the additional request of preserving the seldom used Japanese-style room and the guest room as much as possible, we decided to restore the damaged parts such as the plasterers and unnecessary modifications made in the past to their original form.
The kitchen-dining room, bedroom and wet area are arranged so as to sandwich the Japanese-style room and the guest room. The living room, Japanese-style room and drawing room are gently brought together via shoji (room divider consisted of translucent sheets on a lattice frame). This prevents the movement of people in the building from clogging and allows each room to be used equally. The design finishing of each space gives off different expressions with the passage of time, and the new and the old designs will gradually come together as one.
While paying respect to the 90 years and the landscape this architecture had watched over, we put thought into connecting the history to the future with the growth of the children in a natural manner by incorporating a contemporary lifestyle into the design.