Kamakura House
Akira nakamura

Kamakura House

Roovice as Architects

This private house was originally built back in 1991 and is situated in Ōmachi, a locality in the historical city of Kamakura in the Kanagawa Prefecture. The building is placed on a hillside surrounded by nature, resulting in beautiful landscapes in every direction faced at.

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura

Before the modernisation, the kitchen, living and Japanese-style rooms were all separated in their own enclosed area. This fragmentation spoiled the efficiency of the surface and created a complicated circulation inside.

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura

Hence, the renovation started by removing the dividing wall between the living and tatami rooms on the first floor. This shaped a spacious kitchen and living room that covers the whole north-south direction of the plan. For the former one, an island has been installed near to the south-end of the plan, converting the previous kitchen into a hobby confectionery.

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura

Smoothing with a rounded plaster board the corner in front of the counter improved the flow inside.The new counter is covered with the typical 10x10cm white tile from the Japanese modern era, giving a touch of nostalgia amid the refurbished space. The island is dimensioned to provide a secondary dining spot for the owners and it soon became the centre for the family’s life.

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura

Thanks to the new layout, the wide openings along the western wall provide plenty of natural light inside the plan. This allowed the two windows in the south end to be walled, in favour of a kitchen shelf.Given the generous size of the house and the disproportionate budget available, the renovation prioritised those spaces needing the most, trying to blend old and new harmonically. To achieve this, the age of the dwelling has to be visible, so the ceiling in the living room has been removed in favour of the exposed wooden structure. Large-sized tiles were chosen for the pavement to match the texture and tone of the timber: those have a peculiar reflective surface similar to water, working in synergy with the surrounding.

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura

The renovation brought the biggest changes to the previous first floor Japanese-style room: beside its materiality which has been homogenised to the rest of the living, the storage became part of the space, widening the ambience by a lot. The sun room (内縁 Uchien) in the inner engawa gained a bookshelf from the former storage. Now it’s used as a creative place of the house when closed behind the original Yukimi Shoji (雪見障子, lit. translated as “snow-watching shoji”).

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura

A different approach characterised the upper level renovation, where the limited budget combined with the existing well-preserved conditions required only some minimal changes. The toilet received a wooden pavement reminiscent of the existing one in the hallway and the other bedrooms. The studio in the south-west corner replaced its floor too, but for the owners entirely made it DIY with a woven texture. At last, the sliding doors in the Japanese-style bedroom were replaced with a darker tone to better match the materiality of the rest.

photo_credit Akira nakamura
Akira nakamura
Caption
Caption
Project Credits
Architects
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
floor tiles, living dining kitchenMarazzi
Product Spec Sheet
floor tiles, living dining kitchen
by Marazzi
Products Behind Projects
Product Spotlight
News
Bernardo Bader Architekten designs a contemporary take on a traditional hut
26 Feb 2024 News
Bernardo Bader Architekten designs a contemporary take on a traditional hut

Bregenz-based Bernardo Bader Architekten designed Haus Gapfohl as a solitary wood dwelling — a... More

Stacked boxes create a zigzagging indoor-outdoor plaza in Nanhu District, Jiaxing
26 Feb 2024 News
Stacked boxes create a zigzagging indoor-outdoor plaza in Nanhu District, Jiaxing

B.L.U.E. Architecture Studio (Beijing Laboratory for Urban Environment) has completed Seed Plaza in... More

Bučina Cottage is inspired by traditional construction of timber houses in Czech Republic
23 Feb 2024 News
Bučina Cottage is inspired by traditional construction of timber houses in Czech Republic

Designed by Prague-based architectural studio ADR, Bučina Cottage is a contemporary residence for th... More

Herzog & de Meuron bases SIP Main Campus on the concept of a courtyard house
22 Feb 2024 News
Herzog & de Meuron bases SIP Main Campus on the concept of a courtyard house

International architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron has completed SIP Main Campus, a large-s... More

10 public buildings that rely on natural ventilation
22 Feb 2024 Specification
10 public buildings that rely on natural ventilation

The climate emergency necessitates an approach to architecture that looks at all aspects of a buildi... More

Student residence reflects former industrial heritage and character of Poblenou, Barcelona
20 Feb 2024 News
Student residence reflects former industrial heritage and character of Poblenou, Barcelona

Barcelona-based architecture and urbanism firm JPAM has completed a student residence in the 22@ dis... More

25 best natural wood facade cladding manufacturers
19 Feb 2024 Specification
25 best natural wood facade cladding manufacturers

Exterior wood facade cladding is a textured, natural material that makes a strong aesthetic statemen... More

Studio Razavi Architecture designs a Parisian apartment building that promotes urban densification
16 Feb 2024 News
Studio Razavi Architecture designs a Parisian apartment building that promotes urban densification

Paris-based Studio Razavi Architecture has completed 93 Petit, a residential apartment building in t... More