UNEMORI ARCHITECTS exposes the intricate structure of its 'father and son house'

UNEMORI ARCHITECTS exposes the intricate structure of its 'father and son house'

complex architecture renovated and highlighted

 

The ‘Father and Son House,’ a recent residential project by Tokyo-based UNEMORI ARCHITECTS, stands proudly among the suburban fabric of Saitama, Japan. The dwelling takes shape as a fusion of renovation and new construction, paying homage to the owner’s father — a skilled carpenter who had gradually built the main house (occupied by the client’s mother), annex, workshop, and warehouse during his lifetime. The project was first envisioned as a transformative conversion of the existing annex and workshop into a modern, multi-generational home for the original builder’s son, his mother, and his young family. The challenge lay in balancing proximity and separation from the main house to ensure privacy between generations. Architectural photographer Vincent Hecht captures the intricate timber and steel structure of the residential project.

unemori architects father sonimages © Vincent Hecht | @vincenthecht.photography

 

 

unemori architects integrates the old and new

 

With the renovation of its Father and Son House, UNEMORI ARCHITECTS was faced with a unique challenge and opportunity posed by the building’s existing annex, a complex structure of wood and steel. To retain its intricate design, a new wooden roof and exterior walls were carefully integrated over the existing framework and foundation. Additional floors and water facilities were carefully added, resulting in a structurally independent new construction. To highlight the intricate structure, the architects created a subtle gap between the existing and new parts, allowing light and wind to filter through the old columns, beams, and rafters. This way, the resulting project establishes a harmonious relationship where the old and the new structures coexist.

unemori architects father son
the project combines renovation and new construction, preserving the heritage of the owner’s carpenter father

 

 

father and son: creative collaboration across generations

 

The design team at UNEMORI ARCHITECTS notes that unlike conventional ‘rational’ architecture, the existing building of its Father and Son House lacked a defined structure. This apparent limitation became an opportunity for the architects to embrace the essence of freedom in creation. Lead architect Hiroyuki Unemori comments that the original structure seemed to have been crafted ‘with what was available at the time’ and ‘as one wished,’ which resonated as a manifestation of freedom in the act of making. The architects thus engaged in an ‘invisible dialogue with the owner’s father,’ participating in a collaborative creative process that transcends time and spans generations.

unemori architects father son
the plan transforms the existing annex and workshop into a modern, multi-generational residenceunemori architects father son
the complex wood and steel structure of the existing annex presented a challenge and opportunity UNEMORI ARCHITECTS exposes the intricate structure of its 'father and son house'
a new roof and walls were integrated to maintain the original framework while creating an independent addition

unemori-architects-father-son-house-japan-vincent-hecht-designboom-06a

a subtle gap between the old and new allow light and wind to filter through old columns, beams, and rafters

UNEMORI ARCHITECTS exposes the intricate structure of its 'father and son house'
the existing building’s lack of a defined structure became an opportunity for creative expression

unemori-architects-father-son-house-japan-vincent-hecht-designboom-08a

the design process lent an invisible dialogue between UNEMORI ARCHITECTS and the original builder

 

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site plan
site plan
ground floor plan
ground floor plan
second floor plan
second floor plan
section
section
section
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detail section
detail section
section (physical model)
section (physical model)
pre-existing building (physical model)
pre-existing building (physical model)
existing wall demolished (physical model)
existing wall demolished (physical model)
new wood structure constructed (physical model)
new wood structure constructed (physical model)
new exterior walls finished (physical model)
new exterior walls finished (physical model)

project info:

 

project title: Father and Son House

architecture: UNEMORI ARCHITECTS | @unemori_architects

location: Saitama, Japan

structural engineers: HSC
general constructor: Siguma Construction Firm
furniture contractor: STILLE

building area: 99 square meters

total floor area: 150 square meters

completion: September 2022

photography: © Vincent Hecht | @vincenthecht.photography

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