This project involved renovating an old, 80-year-old Kyoto-style townhouse. A superficial cosmetic refurbishment undertaken about 10 years ago had obscured the original charm of the house. An attempt to only recover the original appeal of a traditional townhouse like this, however, would be nothing more than an exercise in nostalgia. Accordingly, we decided to make new adjustments in order to create a structure where both the original charm of the house and new building technologies would interact with and feed off each other in a fresh, stimulating way.
By inserting boxes made out of structural plywood boards with a thickness of 28mm within the gaps in the old framework, we were able to provide for load-bearing walls and ensure a certain horizontal rigidity within the house. These plywood boxes contain separate, individual rooms with windows and other apertures hollowed through the walls in various places – openings that manage to create an intriguing reversal between the inside and outside spaces of these boxes.