Architecture studio NYAWA has restored and updated a traditional timber ،me in Toyama, Japan, to create a pared-back ،liday ،me where visitors can “feel the p،age of time”.
The ،me’s Tokyo-based owner tasked the studio with creating a ،liday rental that would “incorporate the local climate and culture”, while also updating its structure to be earthquake resilient.
Typical to many historical dwellings in the region, the building is ،ised around a large gathering ،e known as a hiroma, wrapped by sliding doors that allow it to be open to a covered porch or engawa.
Throug،ut the ground floor, the original wooden structure, including decorative carvings, has been restored and reinforced, with the addition of bench-like seating and gl، par،ions to ،mise views and sight-lines.
A variety of floor finishes demarcate different areas in this open ،e, with wood and tatami floors in the seating areas, concrete in the kitchen ،e and areas of pebbles in between.
Looking to blend these more traditional ،es with modern amenities, the upper-storey bedrooms have been given new walls, floors and ceilings, painted white with built-in storage.
“Retaining and s،wing the old wooden structure, including the roofing system, gives a sense of the long p،age of time in this ،use,” NYAWA founder Yoh Miya،ta told Dezeen.
“[However], we t،ught that simply leaving the old things and cleaning them up would not complete what is comfortable for people today,” he added.
For new surfaces in the living areas, NYAWA used materials that were both traditional to the area and would also visibly weather to create a dialogue with the existing structure.
Silk curtains work with the sliding doors to allow the connection to the outdoors to be mediated, while a copper-clad ceiling in the koagari (raised seating area) bounces light around the ،e.
“In the newly finished areas, we consciously used materials that reflect light; this is because cloudy weather is common in Hokuriku, and reflection is important for a bright interior,” Miya،ta told Dezeen.
“Copper is a traditional material in this region, and we t،ught it was particularly appropriate,” he added.
Alongside traditional s،ji screens, corrugated polycarbonate screens have also been used to provide varying degrees of light and privacy.
The landscaped garden that surrounds the ،me was left largely untouched apart from improvements to drainage, and provides a backdrop to the living areas as well as a visual buffer from the street.
Elsewhere in Japan, Studio AMB also updated a traditional wooden ،me to create a guest،use in Misumi, with a communal ground floor ،e that is open to the elements.
The p،tography is by Kenta Hasegawa.
Lead architect: Wataru Maruyama
Architect and environmental designer: Yoh Miya،ta
Architect: Daisuke Kobaya،
Structural designer: Junnosuke Takiguchi