studio cochi architects extends a tomigusuku home with a modern studio space

studio cochi architects extends a tomigusuku home with a modern studio space

a new Take on okinawa’s ‘Hinpun’ screen

 

In the peaceful Tomigusuku neighborhood of Okinawa, Studio Cochi Architects has recently unveiled an Atelier Extension, a modern addition to a residential property. This compact structure is at once a workspace, and a contemporary interpretation of Okinawa‘s traditional concept of the ‘Hinpun,’ a screen between the public and private realm. In this case, the screen takes shape as a narrow studio, an occupiable buffer zone. 

 

The Atelier Extension sits within the existing home’s garden. While the site enjoys a bright and airy atmosphere due to a setback from the main road and a neighboring construction yard, the design team faced the challenge of ensuring privacy for the main house from the surrounding environment. The client wished to retain the garden while creating a dedicated workspace, and Studio Cochi Architects envisioned a solution that went beyond just functionality.

studio cochi tomigusukuimages © Studio Cochi Architects

 

 

the atelier extension brings privacy from the street

 

The Hinpun is a traditional architectural feature in Okinawan culture, primarily seen in Okinawan village layouts and residential houses. It is a wall or screen located at the entrance of a house or village, used as a buffer zone between the public realm and private homes. This wall or screen provides a sense of openness for residents without compromising privacy from outside views. It also served practical purposes like managing visitor flow and offering protection from the elements.

 

Studio Cochi Architects saw an opportunity to reinterpret this concept for the Atelier Extension. The team strategically positioned the workspace and a courtyard between the main house and the surrounding area, effectively creating a modern Hinpun. This placement provides a dedicated workspace while buffering the main house from both the road and its neighbors.

studio cochi tomigusuku
Studio Cochi Architects completes an Atelier Extension in Tomigusuku, Okinawa

 

 

flexible design by studio cochi architects

 

The atelier’s wall embodies the project’s core concept. It functions not just as a physical barrier but also as a way to regulate the connection between the workspace and its surroundings. A large sliding door allows for complete openness, visually connecting the atelier to the front yard, courtyard, and the east-facing garden. Conversely, the door can be closed, transforming the wall into a solid barrier, offering privacy and seclusion when needed.

 

The architecture empowers the client to adjust the relationship between the workspace and its surrounding environment based on their needs and preferences. Whether seeking inspiration from the outside world or focusing on work in solitude, the project offers a flexible balance between openness and privacy.

studio cochi tomigusuku
the new structure serves as both a workspace and a modern interpretation of the Hinpun studio cochi tomigusuku
the Hinpun is a traditional Okinawan concept referring to a buffer zone for privacy
studio cochi tomigusuku
the Atelier Extension balances the homeowner’s desire for a workspace with privacy for the main house

atelier-extension-tomigusuku-studio-cochi-architects-designboom-06a

the architects position the atelier and courtyard strategically to create a modern ‘Hinpun,’ or buffer

studio cochi architects extends a tomigusuku home with a modern studio space
a large sliding door allows the atelier to open up to the surroundings or close for privacy

atelier-extension-tomigusuku-studio-cochi-architects-designboom-08a

the flexible architecture allows users to control their connection to the outside world

 

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project info:

 

project title: Atelier Extension in Tomigusuku

architecture: Studio Cochi Architects | @studiocochiarchitects

location: Tomigusuku, Japan

architect: Toshiyuki Igarashi

assistant architect: Hiroyuki Inaoka

completion: 2023

photography: © Studio Cochi Architects

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