PUDDLE turns traditional merchants house into craft beer bar in kyoto PUDDLE turns traditional merchants house into craft beer bar in kyoto
nov 10, 2016

PUDDLE turns traditional merchants house into craft beer bar in kyoto


occupying one of the remaining three ‘machiya’ townhouses in kyoto, the once typical home-cum-shop for local merchants has been refurbished into a japanese sake and craft beer bar by PUDDLE. the repurposing element of the project was initiatited when the owner — a former sake brewer— wanted to restore his brewery, while preserve the declining number of ‘machiyas’. in the end, the interior followed a mismatch between the existing traditional materials, and the non-traditional prominence towards the front of the structure


puddle architects before 9 is a bar in kyoto
all images © takumi ota




PUDDLE’s objective for the project was to establish an inviting space where people would stop by and experience the gap between the traditional ‘machiya’architecture and modern-day street. the compact backyard plot of land has been converted into a staircase, and by removing more than half of the flooring on the second floor it created an illusion of unity between the upper and lower levels, as well as a sense of comfortable openness upon entering the bar. 

the beer tap handles is achieved by slicing off four sides of a cherry blossom branch to create an octagonal shape




in the original kitchen space area features a beer tap reminiscent of a traditional japanese-style oven called ‘kudo’ made out of a block of mortar serving a diverse selection of beers. the irregularity in length and color of the wooden handles adds to the unique character of the bar.

the different heights of flooring and furniture aims to stimulate different social settings




the change in flooring and furniture height, will hope to encourage interesting communication and interaction. meanwhile the pegboard wall along the open area gives contrasts to the traditional architecture, and was deliberately installed for acoustic reasons and simultaneously serves as a surface for projections.

the open-area has a wall clad in pegboard to contrast the traditional materials

the upstairs seating area

the backwall can be used to project movies

the bar is lit up by a fishing boat lamps

a ‘machiya’ is traditionally a community of houses, where merchants or craftsmen typically lived, but also used as
their place of business





    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news