tokugawacho guest house by tomoaki uno architects
tomoaki uno at converted a family residence in Aichi, Japan, in a paraseismic guest house. the transformation took four years to complete and also involved the creation of three new structures: a connected shop and tea-ceremony house and a separate office overlooking the street.
the new nagayamon-inspired office building
images of yasuo hagiwara (unless otherwise stated)
tea ceremony house
Built using entirely traditional methods, the Tea Ceremony House is described by the architect as “one of the most rigorous and delicate examples of traditional Japanese architecture”. tomoaki uno commissioned a skilled craftsman from kyoto, who assembled the post and beam framework structure in his workshop before bringing it to the construction site to reassemble it. the walls incorporate a mesh of bamboo woven with a straw rope, called ‘takekomai’, which is used to cover the walls with compressed earth. the walls are then finished with two layers of smooth earth.
photo of yasu kojima
the cellar initially had a gable roof to blend in with the existing main house. however, the architect decided to give it a contemporary shape to contrast with the original architecture but modified the design to keep the materials in harmony. the reserve is designed for optimum humidity control. a kitchen is planned on the first floor and the pantry occupies the upper level, where only skylights control lighting and ventilation.
the architect commissioned a skilled craftsman from kyoto to assemble a post and beam structure
Finally, the new office resembles “nagayamon”, which is a type of large gate that was built in the past to control traffic inside and outside the residences of feudal lords. in reference to this, uno planned a long building along the street edge of the site with a large opening. the first floor contains a porch and an office while the second floor is occupied by a larger office space. the first floor also features a narrower width than the upper level to create space for a toilet and storage room.
“It was very difficult to find these materials because pillars and beams longer than 30 cm are rarely used in construction in Japan today,” says uno about the project. nor was it possible to build everything in traditional timber construction, which is not permitted under current legislation. so I tried to use scientific methods and not defile traditional Japanese architecture.
continues the architect, ‘all the wood used here is cedar, selected from all over japan. some of the larger rooms, in particular, have been carefully cared for over several generations by loggers. I took on this job with a lot of responsibility.
inside the tea ceremony house
photo of yasu kojima
inside the renovated guesthouse
the large portal-like opening of the new office
the renovated guest house at night
Name: tokugawacho guest house
location: aichi prefecture, japan
architect: tomoaki uno architects