‘house of memories’ by YYAA 


Architecture practice YYAA has recently renovated a vacant 1930s property in Nara, Japan, for a young couple and their children. Named ‘House of Memories’, the project preserves the property’s traditional and nostalgic aesthetic while accommodating the clients’ modern and busy lifestyles. In other words, ‘the building’s past family life records are now part of the new owners’ day-to-day living,’ explains YYAA.

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all images by Yohei Sasakura



celebrating and uplifiting the house’s past layers 


According to YYAA (see more here), the ‘House of Memories’ had been extended and remodeled several times. Yet, no drawings or official documents were available to confirm those past works; these ‘historical records’ were gradually revealed only when the team peeled back the finishes on the floors, walls, and ceilings.


The architects began by repairing and allocating the original doorway to guests while setting up a new private entrance for the owners. The second step was reconfiguring the main interior space into a sizeable living-kitchen-dining area. Initially set up in that area are a traditional Japanese ‘hobby’ room and a semi-outdoor deck which is now part of the indoors. YYAA also extended the existing guest house and transformed the first floor into a second level by removing the roof to build a nursery with a closet. 

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The stairway was reused, the earth walls were removed, and the old sanitary room was demolished to replace with a wooden deck installed on its foundation. More importantly, old columns, beams, and doors were repaired and reused. Newly added materials naturally complement the existing structures, colors, and textures.

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YYAA converts 1930s property into 'house of memories' for young japanese family

YYAA converts 1930s property into 'house of memories' for young japanese family






project info:


name: House of Memories

location: Nara, Japan
architecture: YYAA


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: lea zeitoun | designboom