repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan

repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan

Rectangles House by OTA Architects

 

The Rectangles House in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, is a renovation project by OTA Architects that breathes new life into a 60-year-old house. Situated deep in the mountains, the 100-square-meter residence was transformed to suit the needs of a young couple with their two cats who relocated from the bustling city. The couple was looking for a renovation that prioritized the spatial experience while remaining within their budget. To ensure the structural integrity of the house during this process, the architects collaborated with Mr. Yamaya Yamanaka, a skilled carpenter with experience in shrine construction and renovations.

Nestled among other structures in the mountainous landscape, the dwelling was surrounded by lush greenery with limited spacing between neighboring buildings. Upon initial inspection, the structure seemed dimly lit and lacked natural light even during the daytime. Thus, the priority for the architects was to transform this space into a bright shelter surrounded by natural light.

repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan
all images by Takashi Uemura

 

 

renovation design process

 

The design process began by removing a section of the first floor, which led to the creation of an upper atrium space within the living room. By converting a former bedroom window into a high sidelight, natural light flooded the space, brightening it up. The existing floor plan featured a storage area adjacent to the living room, creating a dim atmosphere. To redefine the spatial layout, two new walls were introduced along the stairwell, incorporating strategic openings that allowed natural light to pour in, resulting in a warm and well-lit atmosphere.

During the renovation, the architects unearthed a multitude of built-in elements, including 48 pieces of various door and window frames. Committed to sustainability and cost-efficiency, they opted to repurpose these components, thereby reducing industrial waste. Stripping away all the finishes revealed the natural wooden base. These wooden frames were methodically stacked and placed within the stairwell, creating a visually striking lattice wall doubling as a handrail. The unique, uneven texture of the wood was enhanced with a coat of pastel green paint, introducing a playful contrast to the surrounding natural greenery.

repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan
the architects removed a part of the upper floor to form an atrium space for the living room

repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan
two new walls were added along the stairwell to create a more defined spatial profile

repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan
a soft color palette creates a sense of openness

ota-rectangles-house-couple-japan-designboom-18002

the team added a contemporary twist to the old wooden frames, transforming them into functional walls

repurposed window frames in green pastel add a splash of brightness to OTA's house in japan

 

 

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a permeable wall built up from old discarded window frames
a permeable wall built up from old discarded window frames
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during the renovation, the architects unearthed numerous built-in elements, including 48 pieces of various door and window frames
during the renovation, the architects unearthed numerous built-in elements, including 48 pieces of various door and window frames
top view ground level
top view ground level
top view first floor
top view first floor

project info:

 

name: G/Rectangles house

design: OTA Architectural Design Office | @otata_architecture led by Yutaro Ota
construction: Yamaya /Yamanaka Ryo
floor area: 155 square meters
building area: 75 square meters
extension bed area: 102 square meters
location: Kusatsu-machi, Gunma, Japan
design period: January 2022 – April 2022
construction period: June 2022 – September 2022
photography: Takashi Uemura

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