tsubame architects renovates traditional japanese townhouse with added skylight

tsubame architects renovates traditional japanese townhouse with added skylight

tsubame architects has renovated a traditional wooden townhouse (machiya) in the city of nagano, japan, combining public and private spaces under one roof. due to being part of a conservation area, the property has been transformed through minimal interventions that preserve its original character while making it more weather-resistant and pleasant to inhabit.

tsubame architects renovates traditional japanese townhouse with added skylightall images by hideo nakamura




located on a narrow plot of a small street with views to the nearby river and mountain, the house maintains its traditional appearance on the exterior. tsubame architects has revived the ‘garden’ in front of it, and set up several bookcases that are visible from the street. the skylight in the middle of the structure allows plenty of natural light to enter the more private areas, while creating a shadow effect that conceals wiring and dust. the architects have reinforced the property with a layer of insulation which allows it to be used throughout the year.  tsubame architects renovates traditional japanese townhouse with added skylight

tsubame architects renovates traditional japanese townhouse with added skylight


project info:



name: house of top lights

architect: tsubame architects

construction: noda construction

illumination simulation: ryohei wada (panasonic)

location: nagano, japan

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,534 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample