renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence

ICE/ichie architects restore old row house’s wooden frame

 

ICE/ichie architects takes over a row house renovation project in Shinjuku, Tokyo, standing on an old urban block dating back to the Edo period in Japan. While this residential area is gradually being replaced by three-story wooden houses, the alley presents a mix of owner-occupied, rented, tenant-occupied, and vacant houses that can be seen as one big unit with rooms of various sizes. The project reimagines the variable lifestyle in the alley, taking up a unit for a short period or merging it with new neighboring houses depending on the situation and requirements of living in each setting. During the restoration process the wooden frame, the pillar, and beam extensions get revealed, while the large windows open to the south and north allowing natural ventilation and light distribution. A central atrium arranges the home functions and zones as new columns, beams, fascias, small rooms, stairs, and furniture are laid out in a spiral sequence, shifting with the exterior walls and windows.

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
all images by Tomoyuki Kusunose

 

 

living functions arrange around an internal void atrium

 

The interior layout assembles a dining kitchen facing a small garden by the alley, a study room, a library fused with a staircase, a bedroom, a cloakroom, a hidden bathroom, and a detached room floating above the frame. With this arrangement, the design team sets all spaces around the atrium bringing an outdoor environment into the house. The interior walls are finished with a patchwork of lauan plywood, whereas in the boundary wall with the neighboring house, the tone of the plywood changes in the meeting point with the earthen floor to color-match, and a large staircase is placed around the void space.

 

The project follows a concept of laying out the residential parts in a spiral pattern to create a sense of ‘a house that imitates the city extending from the main street with its buildings and flats up the hill, through the low-rise buildings’. The central atrium integrates notions of old and new, built and void, inside and outside, ground floor and first floor, ultimately linking the town, the alley, and the row house. The aim is to develop and revitalize the relationship between the row house and the alley shaping the structure as a ‘small urban room’.

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
on the ground floor, new columns, beams, fascias, small rooms, stairs, and furniture are laid out in a spiral sequence

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
the living functions surround the void space of the residential unit

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
the study room is located on the upper volume

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
the bathroom sits on top of the library area

small-row-house-ice-archi-designboom-1800-3

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
wooden stairs attach on the wall and surround the void space

renovation project in tokyo arranges wooden house's interior layout in spiral sequence
steps covered by carpet coating serve as a sofa

small-row-house-ice-archi-designboom-1800-2

 

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project info:

 

name: Cloistered Alley
designer: ICE/ichie architects | @icearchi
location: Tokyo, Japan

photography: Tomoyuki Kusunose

 

 

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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architecture in japan (1520)

architecture in tokyo (320)

renovation architecture and design (785)

residential architecture and interiors (3946)

wood and timber architecture and design (969)

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