koji kakiuchi: do it yourself koji kakiuchi: do it yourself
aug 19, 2011

koji kakiuchi: do it yourself

‘do it yourself’ by koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department in kyoto, japan all images courtesy koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department

japanese architects koji kakiuchi / yaomitsu designing department has sent us images of ‘do it yourself’, a small renovation project to a 100 year old house in kyoto, japan. working together with the client, who has no experience in architecture or remodelling, the project is an exercise in transferring knowledge to the inhabitants, creating a collective design that the client can maintain as well as live in.

interior view of living room

situated between two adjacent buildings, the 56 m2 house lacked structural integrity and leaned to one side. instead of reinforcing the existing walls, the design inserts rectangular frames inside the original framework, strengthening the house as well as creating new venues of ventilation and lighting. a portion of the ground floor ceiling was removed to result in a void that aided natural air flow as well as a mezzanine-like level that overlooks the space below.

view of the porch from living room

in addition to providing structural aid, the new rectangular frames define and divide the individual programs in a linear fashion. a small kitchen sits in the centre of the layout flanked by two wooden units that maintain a sense of continuity. the visual effect of the layered frames add depth and dimension to the simple arrangement. the upper level, which accommodates a loft bedroom, benefits from natural daylight entering from the ground floor. a thin white cloth running along the ceiling of the house creates a complimentary contrast between the new design and antique house while establishing a visual connection between levels.

view from the upstairs bedroom

white cloth lining the ceiling

(left) kitchen (right) master bedroom on ground floor


(left) stairs leading up to upper bedroom (right) back entrance

entrance at night

street face before renovation

during construction

floor plan / level 0 / before renovation

floor plan / level +1 / before renovation

floor plan / level 0 – after renovation

floor plan / level +1 / after renovation


project info:

site area: 56.00 m2 total floor area: 59.03 m2

structural engineer: satoru shimoyama contractor: shin morita collaborator: kumakura kensho

  • Love it. It is so easy to demolish everything and start from 0 in Japan. It is very unusual to see nice house remodelling like this. Well done.

    Fistule says:
  • super

    max says:
  • love this!

    jill says:
  • a dream space for peace
    garden and patio need zen

    amp says:
  • working on something already there and adding new ones needs more empathy and sensibility. Those make this house posses certain warmness

    peppy says:
  • very nice work

    nafs says:
  • this re-use effect is extra!after refreshed area reigning there intimate/ambiental atmosphere to creat ilustration art,practice meditation and spend time on drinking green tea.

    szysz says:
  • Not as hollow or sterile looking as so many japanese architecture. This is AMAZING WORK.

    Smk says:
  • Super effective architecture

    pezo says:
  • lovely mix of tradition and contemporary attitude.

    frederic says:
  • Beauty , essence of beauty to me, in this project.

    francesca says:
  • the use of the structural squares is very practical and beautiful in earthquake prone Japan. I may use this idea to open up a Japanese house built in 1979. very tastefully done.

    mark says:

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