schemata architects converts tokyo factory for takahashi hiroko studio schemata architects converts tokyo factory for takahashi hiroko studio
oct 21, 2014

schemata architects converts tokyo factory for takahashi hiroko studio

schemata architects converts tokyo factory for takahashi hiroko studio
photo © shiori kawamoto
all images courtesy of schemata architects

 

 

 

unused factories and warehouses have proven to be a preferred architectural type for creatives’ studios through their spatial openness and blank canvas / easy-to-retrofit nature. as an example of this post-industrial development, japanese artist hiroko takahashi has recently moved into an old steel building in tokyo’s oshiage area (near the city’s landmark ‘skytree’ structure), with conversion work designed by schemata architects. the structure contains three levels, organized with a multipurpose work/gallery space on the ground floor, a kimono showroom above, and personal areas for the artist on the top storey which includes an office and greenhouse for growing edible plants.

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the steel building previously functioned as a factory and office in the sumida area of tokyo
photo © shiori kawamoto

 

 

 

as the artist is involved in an extensive range of works, including self-portrait photos to various graphic and textile designs, the ground floor has been arranged with flexible furniture and display areas for use as a work space or exhibition/shop/event space. large metal tables and cabinets are able to roll throughout the room, while a double-height wall serves as a surface for presenting objects.

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the ground floor serves as a multipurpose work/gallery space
photo © shiori kawamoto

 

 

 

in regards to functional demands, the conversion work included the addition of bracing members to the building’s framework as well as a consistent fireproof coating on all steel structural elements. the result is a combination of textured (fireproofed) and smooth surfaces that have consistently been treated in white for a neutral tonality. flooring and furnishing materials provide a subtle contrast to the stark coloration.

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

metal tables and OSB cabinets roll throughout the space for easy reconfiguration
photo © shiori kawamoto

 

 

 

schemata architects describe that the building promotes the artist’s ability to take on creative works by serving as a place, ‘where she continues her quest for new expressions through person-to-person interaction. here all actions, not only ‘output’ actions such as selling and displaying, but also ‘input’ actions such as eating and thinking, and creative process are considered as forms of expressions. visitors are able to actually experience the real-time development of hiroko takahashi’s creative endeavors in this space.’

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the double height ground floor space is visually linked with the level above
photo © shiori kawamoto

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the building’s steel structure has been treated in fireproofing and painted white
photo © shiori kawamoto

 

 

 

for use as a kimono showroom and also for accommodating various activities such as rakugo (a traditional japanese comedy performance), the +1 level is left open and covered in tatami mats for a comfortable floor surface. additionally, two of the space’s walls are lined with mirrors to complement the events and enhance an expansive quality on the level.

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the middle floor are lined with mirrors to provide a spatially expansive quality
photo © shiori kawamoto

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the open space is intended to serve as a kimono showroom and accommodate performances
photo © shiori kawamoto

 

 

 

the upper-most floor is designated for the personal spaces of the artist, takahashi hiroko. this includes a garden of edible plants as well as an OSB (wood panel) structure serving as an office for computer focused activities.

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the top story contains an indoor garden of edible plants
photo © shiori kawamoto

schemata architects takahashi hiroko studio designboom

the wood volume on the upper level contains a private office for the artist
photo © shiori kawamoto

 

 

 

project info:

 

location: sumida, tokyo, japan
completion: 09/2014
site area: 219.21 sqm
building area: 140.85 sqm
total floor area: 324.10 sqm
floors: 3
structure: steel
architecture: jo nagasaka/schemata architects
project team: masami nakata
construction: eiger (building・interior) / E&Y (furniture) / kazumasa higurashi (garden) /  yoshiki maeshiba (planting)
photo: shiori kawamoto

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