roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods

roovice renovates hakuraku house in japan

 

Japanese studio Roovice has recently given a new life to Hakuraku House, a 90-year-old wooden home in Yokoham, Japan, using traditional Japanese architecture methods. Preserving the historic, faded wood and rusty steel of façade and restoring the primitive wooden structure, from the outside Hakuraku House seems frozen in time. Within, the architects redesign the internal spatial layout to inject a sense of harmony. Adopting the traditional approach of Kakekae, Hakuraku House reveals a refreshed, spacious character bounded in the bright interior flooded with generous natural light.

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
all images by Akira Nakamura

 

 

restoring a harmonious spatial layout

 

The original wooden structure was built during the 1930s as a symmetrical two-apartments dwelling. Since then, it has undergone several extensions and additions, revealing an incoherent spatial layout with a tangled flow of use. A mid-nineteenth century contribution of the Bunkai dekiru method which sees the dismantling and reconstruction of the steep staircase, is enhanced by Roovice to open up the home. Presented with the challenge of restoring a sense of harmony to the space, Roovice redesigns the layout’s extensions in a more ordered manner.

 

To achieve this, the designers make use of the traditional Japanese architecture approach of Kakekae (‘substitute’, ‘replacement’) – the approach of altering existing elements to enhance the space. To resolve the awkward geometry of the original staircase which shaped the spaces on the first and second floor, the newly added stairs were shifted to restore symmetrical circulation and grant more generous space to the kitchen. The void left in the slab from the rearrangement was transformed into a double height connecting the kitchen with the vanity unit and bathroom on the top storey, while the lower bathroom moved from the squeezed spot under the stairwell to the annexe room. The steep original staircase leads to the newly opened second floor, where Roovice removes the division walls to generate an open space with generous natural light granted by the improved windows.  

 

The main task during renovations of old buildings in Japan, wooden houses in particular, is often embodied by the seismic retrofitting meant to update obsolete structures. To increase the strength of edifices during an earthquake, the structure must be bonded together. With Hakuraku House, the retrofitting is achieved by the attachment of dampers to each element, which bond all of the structural elements together and keeps the layout open and flexible as it doesn’t require new columns or beam installation.

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
view of one of the two entrances, seen from the inside

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
the black dampers bond all the structural elements together

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
improved windows, big openings and white walls provide plenty of natural light

roovice-restores-spatial-harmony-japanese-home-traditional-architecture-methods-designboom-2

the vintage wooden elements generate a contrast with the white walls

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
Roovice retains the original internal divisions

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
the contrast between the white walls and the dark structure transmits a calm and secure ambience

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
the steep original staircase leads to the newly opened second floor

roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
Hakuraku House’s faded exterior seems frozen in time

 

 

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roovice restores spatial harmony in japanese home using traditional architecture methods
 
the new kitchen benefits from the removal of the staircase for a more generous space
the new kitchen benefits from the removal of the staircase for a more generous space

project info:

 

name: Hakuraku House
architects: Roovice

location: Yokoham, 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: ravail khan | designboom

ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN (1230)

RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (372)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS (2803)

ROOVICE (8)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (504)

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