Darkish roof delivers loftiness to tiny Terrace Home in the vicinity of Demachiyanagi

Japanese-Australian architecture studio Atelier Luke has renovated an outdated Kyoto row household, providing the slender household a black-stained timber ceiling to create “a spacious void of shadows”.


Named Terrace Dwelling close to Demachiyanagi, the home has a historic facade that Atelier Luke restored whilst bringing up to date Japanese and Australian design sensibilities into the interior.

Old row house in Kyoto
Over: Atelier Luke has restored an previous row household. Leading image: it occupies a narrow plot in Kyoto

The studio commenced the undertaking by stripping the residence back to its structure, revealing earlier concealed roof beams that they selected to make into a characteristic.

Potentially counterintuitively, they did so by staining the timber of the upper storey and ceiling black.

The dark interiors of a narrow Japanese house
The studio stripped the household again to its composition

“Spaciousness is made in this small house by way of darkness as perfectly as light,” claimed Atelier Luke.

“Internally the black-stained timber skeleton, which includes earlier concealed roof beams, produces a spacious void of shadows within just which the new home is fashioned,” it ongoing.

“Shadows increase almost infinitely previously mentioned whilst the floor aircraft extends into the street, blurring the bounds of the compact plot.”

A cedar-lined living room
Two outstanding cedar bins have been inserted

Within this structure, the studio inserted two distinguished cedar packing containers, “almost as home furnishings”. The entrance box contains the lavatory and the kitchen area with an elevated sleeping loft above.

The rear box capabilities to deliver a connection to the outdoors, with layered screens and doorways that permit the interior to be opened to the public street over and above, or shut all around a little inside back garden.

A Japanese house with contrasting living spaces
The cedar containers are supposed to evoke household furniture

Internally, a great deal of the structure experienced to be replaced or altered to comply with up to date fireplace and earthquake safety prerequisites.

Atelier Luke used the similar Yoshino cedar from the managed forests of nearby Nara all over, like on the construction, joinery, cabinetry, linings and external cladding.

When the timber of the roof is stained black, on the floor stage it has a all-natural finish of linseed oil.

A cedar room inside a dark Japanese house
The dim-stained roof structure generates loftiness

Externally, Terrace Dwelling in the vicinity of Demachiyanagi’s entrance facade was the aim for restoration function in collaboration with neighborhood craftspeople. They restored aspects such as the “mushikomado” plaster lattice window on the next flooring employing classic approaches.

The rear facade is evidently present-day, with a black metal perimeter frame that supplies a substance distinction to the timber screens.

A cedar-lined living space
Layered screens line the rear wall

Atelier Luke thinks that the undertaking stands out against other residences in the spot mainly because of its respectful technique to the earlier.

“The high-quality of true trades and elements is evident when contrasted with the palette of prefabricated and plasticised finishes that dominate this normal Japanese suburb,” mentioned the studio.

“The diminutive scale and fantastic permeability pretty much present the property as a historic artefact in just the road, demonstrating an substitute to the towering and impregnable neighbours.”

A corridor in a Japanese house
The studio stated it took a respectful approach to the previous

Atelier Luke is led by Australian architect Luke Hayward and Japanese interior designer Junko Nakatsuka, who started the studio in 2013.

Several architects in substantial-density Japanese metropolitan areas have had to get the job done with the constrictions of narrow homes, this kind of as Apollo Architects & Associates’ new 1.4-metre-large Jewel house.

Pictures is by Yohei Sasakura.


Challenge credits:

Architect: Atelier Luke
Task staff: Naomi Murasaki, Junko Nakatsuka and Luke Hayward
Builder: Matsuhiko Development
Internet site foreman: Hideya Tanaka
Cabinetmaker: Jurinsha

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