in matters of architecture, japan has been on the cutting edge for a long time. its vernacular style was a precursor to millennialism, and the inspiration of revolutionary architects such as frank lloyd wright and many others. needless to say, this traditional japanese style does not feel dated in anyway and certainly not in the case of this guest house designed by B.L.U.E. architecture studio in kyoto, japan. the project manages to combine traditional and contemporary styles for a result that is both cozy, and perhaps timeless. 

BLUE studio kyoto
all photos by toshiyuki yano

 

 

the guest house is quite small, with only two floors, and a small footprint; yet, through clever use of space it achieves a sense of roominess. this effect is added to by the selected seating, which is very low to the ground, giving the ceilings a lofty effect. B.L.U.E. stands for bejing labratory of urban environment; it is a studio based in beijing that specializes in urban development, architecture and furniture design, and these aspects can be seen in the facets of this project. 

BLUE studio kyoto
the second floor living room 

 

 

the interior, which was in a dire state before the project was undertaken, did offer some interesting features, including some amazing original wooden ceiling beams that were preserved in the new design. from these elements the architect expanded, adding new shōji screens to match. these screens have more modern designs but maintain the geometry of the structure. each part is completed with attention to detail, from the garden to the stairwell — the effects are in the photos. 

BLUE studio kyoto
a view of the peaceful garden

 

 

another unique and interesting feature of the renovated house is the channel that leads directly from the street into the garden. the door is made of glass and allows light to enter. it’s a beautiful cross section of the building that allows visitors to effortlessly enter the home by whatever means desired.

BLUE studio kyoto
an entry to the garden
BLUE studio kyoto
the second floor living room
BLUE studio kyoto
streetview, note the hallway leading all the way back to the garden
BLUE studio kyoto
the light is subtle and effective
BLUE studio kyoto
the dining room is connected with the garden BLUE studio kyoto
a view from the garden
BLUE studio kyoto
tiles lead into the stone walkway

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: guest house in kyoto
location: kyoto, japan
element: guest house
architects: shuhei aoyama,yoko fujii, huiyong yang / b.l.u.e. architecture studio
design support: kenzo making & associates
structural advice: jun yanagimuro structural engineering
garden design: matsuyama landscape
construction: &s co.,ltd rockweed.inc
client: e&k
size: 2-story
site area: 185 squm
building area: 120 sqm
construction period: 12.2017
photography credit: toshiyuki yano