ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo

Roovice & Cabbage Truck renovate Mukōjima Row House in Tokyo

 

Situated a 10-minute walk from Hikifune station in Sumida, Tokyo, the Mukōjima Row House undergoes a thoughtful revitalization. Roovice, in collaboration with the woodwork and architectural studio Cabbage Truck, led by Hikaru Watanabe, undertook the renovation of this century-old row house. The owner, having inherited the dilapidated property from his elderly father and living in a different city, participated in the Kariage initiative. This program enables Roovice to renovate and sublease old vacant houses at no cost to the owner, addressing Japan‘s growing issue of akiya, or empty properties.

 

The renovation began with essential seismic updates, including the addition of new dampers, ensuring the structure’s resilience to earthquakes. The interior modernization preserved original features while updating key areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. One of the house’s unique elements was the round-shaped wooden step at the entrance. The renovation opened a window in the entrance wall, allowing natural light to flood the living room and revealing historical materials within the wall. The top part of this wall was left exposed, showcasing traditional construction methods and craftsmanship.

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
all images by Akira Nakamura

 

 

renovation reveals Historical materials blending old and new

 

The first-floor layout remained unchanged, but strategic adjustments, such as relocating the separating wall, created additional space in the kitchen and bathroom. Unnecessary walls were removed to create an open space, and original tiles in the bathroom were preserved. The integration of the former shelving unit and a new kitchen unit from Toolbox blends tradition with modern convenience.

 

Upstairs, dismantling the walls of a traditional Japanese storage unit, oshiire, exposed a captivating wallpaper collage preserved as a piece of art. Rawan flooring adds warmth and character to the newly created spacious room, where a blend of old and new ceiling boards maintains the house’s authenticity while ensuring structural integrity.

 

The renovation aims to balance honoring the past and embracing the future. By breathing new life into this row house, Roovice and Cabbage Truck have revitalized a piece of architectural history, addressing Japan’s housing challenges with reverence for tradition.

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
revitalized Mukōjima Row House is located a 10-minute walk from Hikifune station in Sumida, Tokyo

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
Roovice and Cabbage Truck collaborated to renovate this century-old row house

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
essential seismic updates, including new dampers, ensure the structure’s resilience to earthquakes

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
the renovation preserved original features while updating the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
historical materials within the wall were revealed, showcasing traditional construction methods

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
unnecessary walls were removed to create an open living space

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
the first-floor layout remained unchanged, with strategic adjustments for more space in the kitchen and bathroom

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
dismantling the walls of a traditional Japanese storage unit exposed a captivating wallpaper collage

roovice-cabbage-truck-renovation-tokyo-designboom-1800-2

rawan flooring adds warmth and character to the newly created spacious room

ROOVICE and cabbage truck restore centennial row house's structural frame in tokyo
a new window in the entrance wall floods the living room with natural light

roovice-cabbage-truck-renovation-tokyo-designboom-1800-3

the renovation balances honoring the past with embracing the future, revitalizing a piece of architectural history

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