On a site featuring a rich garden that has been renovated meticulously over the years, Shiiba house is a renovation of a house built around a hundred years ago in Kyoto. The striking renovation was undertaken by Mandai Architects.
The clients desired a house where people could gather. Building off an original lean-to extension from the original house, the architects added five wooden lean-to spaces, leaving the existing two-storey main house in the centre. Each lean-to is designed to have a direct relationship with the adjacent garden environment.
The five new lean-to spaces seemingly support the main house like flying buttresses As a result, the first floor of the existing main house is relieved from the need for seismic resistant walls and creates a sense of openness throughout the entire house.
The five lean-to spaces contain a living room surrounded by osmanthus trees, a kitchen with a high ceiling where sunlight enters, a tea room positioned like an annex next to the Japanese maples, a bright staircase filled with light and study with a view of the starry sky, a bathroom permeated by soft rays of light.
A variety of subtle changes were also implement to dissolve the line between the old structure and the lean-to additions. The old staircase, porch and furniture are arranged so as to traverse the boundaries between the existing and new build areas.
In addition, existing materials such as old fittings, alcove posts, and lighting are used in the new constructed areas, and existing garden stones and trees are planted in the newly created garden.
While treating the garden, architecture, and furniture as being of equal importance, the fragments of the environment that unfold across the entire site are centered on the spacious main house are re-edited, and further curated into multiple overlapping layers that can be observed throughout.