renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo

note architects revitalize 50-year-old Housekeeper’s House

 

Housekeeper’s House by note architects is a renovation project for a 50-year-old wooden house situated in a residential area in central Tokyo. The aging structure, uninhabited for an extended period, presented deterioration in finishing materials. Reflecting the era’s emphasis on individuality, private rooms were compartmentalized, resulting in dimly lit and poorly ventilated spaces, hindering family interaction. Constructed during Japan’s era of high economic growth, the house boasted elaborate designs and a vintage ambiance. The project focused on adapting traditional Japanese design elements to modern lifestyles while preserving the original character.

 

Traditional Japanese methods were seamlessly integrated into modern contexts, spanning lighting fixtures to spatial composition. Walls and ceilings in common areas were removed to optimize space, resulting in a bright, open layout unifying the entire house. Notably, the dark staircase and entrance wall were eliminated, transforming the once gloomy kitchen into a luminous, public space connected to the outdoors—a nod to the Japanese Doma or earth floor, often found in traditional homes.

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo
all images courtesy of note architects

 

 

Traditional Japanese design fuses with modern aesthetics

 

Upon removing the ceiling on the second floor, the design team at note architects unveiled an impactful roof frame, deemed a unique design element inherent to the building. The exposed roof frame, visible without a ceiling covering, adds to the distinctive aesthetic. The transom of Japanese houses, historically designed for ventilation and lighting, is represented in the upper part of the fusuma (sliding door), emphasizing an intentional integration of traditional elements.

 

Tatami mats, unsuitable for modern lifestyles, were replaced with Rawan plywood, and damaged areas were minimally repaired. Repair work deliberately maintained the original shape using Rawan plywood and Japanese paper, preserving existing features. Historical traces, such as lighting fixtures and intercom receivers, were intentionally retained. Private rooms feature sliding doors, offering flexibility to connect or separate spaces as needed.

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo
traditional Japanese methods found a place in modern contexts, influencing the spatial composition

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo
the elimination of the entrance wall transformed the once-gloomy kitchen into a luminous, public space

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo
the removal of walls and ceilings in common areas created a bright, open space unifying the entire house

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo
the removal of the second-floor ceiling revealed a powerful and impactful roof frame

housekeepers-house-note-architects-tokyo-designboom-1800-1

damaged areas were minimally repaired, deliberately maintaining the original shape using Rawan plywood

renovated wooden house boasts bright red facade in central tokyo
the project integrated traditional Japanese design into modern lifestyles while preserving original character

housekeepers-house-note-architects-tokyo-designboom-1800-2

unsuitable tatami mats were replaced with Rawan plywood, offering a modern alternative

 

1/6
upcycled existing fusuma
upcycled existing fusuma
staircase and kitchen
staircase and kitchen
print plywood
print plywood
reused wallpaper
reused wallpaper
bright interior
bright interior
bathroom
bathroom

project info:

 

name: Housekeeper’s House
architect: note architects | @notearchitects

lead architect: Ryo Kamamatsu

location: Tokyo, Japan

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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