Higashihongō House
Akira Nakamura

Higashihongō House

Roovice as Architects

Higashihongō is one of the neighbourhoods in the north side of Yokohama City. The development of the residential area began during the 1960s with a multitude of two-storeys houses. After opening the nearby train line, a rapid increase in population forced the administration to heavily invest on new housing construction using quick and cheap modular lightweight metal structures.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

The result of it is an extended urban texture where every building is almost identical to the next one, and no real landmark stands out from the mass. The lack of exterior creativity induced the landowner to push the quality enhancement of the interior ambience.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

Higashihongō House is part of this development and was originally built in 1981, sharing the same materials and size of the surrounding dwellings. Roovice completed its renovation, following the clients’ request to update the floor plan for fitting it more to their needs. In fact, the owners are a married couple who inherited the premises from the wife's mother. Having the wife grown up in the house, the main intention was never to build anew, but to modernise the place while preserving the memories experienced inside.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

At the same time, limited by the available budget, the project focused almost entirely on the living spaces accommodated in the first floor. For the bedrooms upstairs instead, the renovation relied solely on replacing the broken materials and some minor changes to the layout.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

That being said, the first step was removing all the dividing walls to create a whole surface with a continuous flow. To expand the perceived space, the ceiling was also removed which highlighted the exposed primitive metal structure. The columns in the centre of the plan underwent the same process, previously hidden inside the partition wall and now working as a threshold between dining and guest room.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

The entrance saw the doma increasing its size until reaching the north end of the house and converting its pavement with Oya stone tiles. The same tiles are also used for the added kitchen island placed in front of the dining room as a divider of the different spaces. A threshold in the ceiling surmounting the counter detaches even more evidently the kitchen from the continuous line composed of the guest-dining-living room.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura
photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

Concluding the first floor, the washroom kept its dimension while being totally refurbished, and the existing openings were replaced with insulated windows to better cope with the winter season.

photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura
photo_credit Akira Nakamura
Akira Nakamura

 

On the second floor, the main changes regarded the entrance doors of the bedrooms and the pavement. The formers are now combined with the closets’ sliding panels next to them, generating a single system of movable elements. For the latter instead, a new flooring made of wooden planks matches the plastered walls which reflect the generous amount of natural light inside. The two levels of the house now feature the same wooden pavement which generates a homogeneous calm yet bright atmosphere.

Caption
Caption
Project Spotlight
Product Spotlight
News
C.F. Møller Architects demonstrates importance of evidence-based architecture to providing therapeutic mental health services
28 May 2024 News
C.F. Møller Architects demonstrates importance of evidence-based architecture to providing therapeutic mental health services

Danish architectural firm C.F. Møller Architects has completed the Springfield University Hos... More

Conen Sigl transforms the site of a former Swiss plant nursery into a cooperative housing complex
28 May 2024 News
Conen Sigl transforms the site of a former Swiss plant nursery into a cooperative housing complex

Switzerland-based architecture studio Conen Sigl has transformed a former plant nursery plot near Zu... More

Studio Libeskind completes striking affordable senior housing courtyard building in Brooklyn
27 May 2024 News
Studio Libeskind completes striking affordable senior housing courtyard building in Brooklyn

The renowned international architectural practice Studio Libeskind has completed the Atrium at Sumne... More

25 best interior door manufacturers
27 May 2024 Specification
25 best interior door manufacturers

Beyond their obvious role of creating privacy and acting as transitions between different areas with... More

Sanjay Puri, Dominique Petit-Frere, Emre Arolat and Yenny Zhang join Archello Awards 2024 jury
23 May 2024 Archello Awards
Sanjay Puri, Dominique Petit-Frere, Emre Arolat and Yenny Zhang join Archello Awards 2024 jury

Sanjay Puri, Dominique Petit-Frere, Emre Arolat and Yenny Zhang have been announced as Archello Awar... More

Storefront in Amsterdam by Dok architecten features sculpted facade of hand-molded bricks
23 May 2024 News
Storefront in Amsterdam by Dok architecten features sculpted facade of hand-molded bricks

The Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana has opened a store in Amsterdam's P.C. Hooftstraat ret... More

Prokš Přikryl Architekti converts historic grain silo into multifunctional conference and art space
22 May 2024 News
Prokš Přikryl Architekti converts historic grain silo into multifunctional conference and art space

Prague-based Prokš Přikryl Architekti has converted the grain silo of a historic mill buildin... More

Surman Weston veils self-build Peckham House in hit-and-miss brickwork
21 May 2024 News
Surman Weston veils self-build Peckham House in hit-and-miss brickwork

London-based architectural studio Surman Weston has completed its first self-build project in the vi... More