florian busch disguises eight storey nightlife venue in kyoto with louvered timber façade
florian busch disguises eight storey nightlife venue in kyoto with louvered timber façade
jan 20, 2016

florian busch disguises eight storey nightlife venue in kyoto with louvered timber façade

florian busch disguises eight storey nightlife venue in kyoto with louvered timber façade
all images © nacasa & partners




comprising an intricate network of alleyways, bars, brothels and boutiques, pontocho is one of kyoto’s most atmospheric and diverse dining areas. on an adjacent plot of 50 square meters, florian busch architects (FBA) has realized ‘K8’, a narrow building positioned between two other multi-storey structures. comprising eight levels, the scheme primarily serves as a nightlife venue, configured to host a ‘a gradually changing course of events’.

the narrow building is positioned between two other multi-storey structures




as the eastern part of pontocho faces kyoto’s main river, urban regulations have meant that the neighborhood remains a fabric of small, low level houses. ‘K8’ forgoes the use of an elevator, instead stretching a  continuous volume across eight storeys. ‘while pontocho is experienced as a horizontal sequence of encounters, ‘K8′ is the translation of that experience into the vertical,’ explain the architects. ‘the evening evolves as a gradually changing course of events, from an aperitif on ground level to a digestif overlooking pontocho.’

hundreds of wooden louvers evoke a sense of motion




externally, the homogeneous yet continuously changing façade creates an ambiguity often found in the city’s architecture. hundreds of wooden louvers evoke a sense of motion, while simultaneously disguising the building’s internal plan and program. at the center of the elevation, the angle of the louvers allows more transparency, providing internal sightlines and engaging passersby.

the scheme primarily serves as a nightlife venue




FBA founder florian busch completed his masters at london’s AA school of architecture before relocating to work for japanese architect toyo ito. in 2009, busch started his own firm in tokyo. see more projects by FBA here.

instead of an elevator, a dramatic stairway connects the scheme

a single volume is stretched across eight storeys

the project comprises a series of vertically stacked rooms

the uppermost level of the plan

the building occupies a plot of 50 square meters

the building illuminated from within




project info:


gross floor area: 155.98 sqm
structure: steel
height: 16.7 m
location: kawaramachi, kyoto, japan
program: restaurant/bar


project team:
FBA: florian busch, sachiko miyazaki, suguru takahashi, akira miyamoto, antoine vaxelaire, renee reder, oliver pershav, katie colford (intern), shiori sageshima (intern), anne-marlene rüede (intern), kayo nakamura (intern)
structural engineering: OAK (masato araya, tomonori kawata)
contractor: mugishima corp.

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