The Edge of the Wood

The Edge of the Wood

Architect
KTX archiLAB
Location
Miki, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan | View Map
Project Year
2018
Category
Restaurants
©Stirling Elmendorf

The Edge of the Wood

KTX archiLAB as Architects

How can architecture represent a culinary concept? The Edge of the Wood is an attempt to respond to this question. The owner, Inami Koro, an Udon restaurant in Miki City, is reinventing the traditional Japanese thick noodles dish while keeping the common techniques for preparation. The new building reflects their approach by revisiting the traditional Japanese wooden constructions.


Even for nowadays, most wooden residential architecture in Japan use the same “conventional construction methods”. The challenge was to employ the same techniques to build a space that looks completely new. Using these techniques guarantees two aspects. First, any constructor can make the building without any special advanced skills or technologies. The second point is to keep the price low, as low as basic housing prices. just a few adjustments were enough to gain a refreshing aspect of the building. 


The main change was on the cross section of the general roof decking. The roof gradient and flat ceiling was reversed by rotating them around the eaves, making the roof almost flat, with only 3% slope for rain water evacuation. The result is a lighter roof shape while keeping enough space for the structural elements. The second change was to replace the dark wooden walls by frameless clear glass, providing more daylight inside the shop and contributing making the roof seem even lighter.


This project is the first part of the new urban development “Bessho Yume Kaido” planned by Miki City. Therefore, although the operation is private, the building is owned by the city, making it a public building. The project it self called for the creation of a Landmark, attracting the public to appropriate the place. For that end, the contour lines were simplified as much as possible, the details for water proofing the structure, and rainwater draining although looks simple and minimalistic were the hardest part to design. The glass frame incorporated in the wooden pillars participate in the purification of lines converting the building to an icon. A glowing icon on evenings when the warm lights of the shop rays through the glazed façades, attracting people and giving the whole area a new visual identity. 


Udon is a Japanese traditional thick noodles dish still widely popular in today’s Japan. Inami Koro restaurant is reinventing the dish while keeping traditional techniques. Their New restaurant and shop in Miki city emulates their approach in an architectural way by giving the traditional wooden structure a new breath.

While udon is believed to be introduced to the country during the Heian Era (8th, 12th century) the simplicity of its recipes and its nutritious values helped it surviving the ages and be almost the same dish today. Although Japanese architectural techniques and engineering have evolved during the last century and often needs highly skilled technician to execute them, the spaces serving udon kept the same aesthetics and graphic charter, wooden spaces, opaque walls, and an abundant wooden structure. Yet these spaces could be easily built by any Japanese carpenter.


The new shop for Inami Koro undergoes the same path that its noodles. It uses the traditional simple and efficient wooden structure, nevertheless creates an unusual space. it introduces transparency by changing the wood panels covering the structure into a glazed façade. The interior wooden walls turned up white provides a lighter and fresher atmosphere that conforms to contemporary spaces.

The traditional techniques of roof making, still conventional in today’s housing industries, were also kept for making this new building. The only alteration occurs by pivoting the roof around the eaves edge. As a result, the ceiling is slant towards the center of the shop keeping enough space for the beams and further elements of the structure.


The interior part facing the road is used as goods shop for the neighboring herb-garden. Miki city, owner of the facility is aiming to develop this new area under the name of Bessho Yume Kaido and this building is meant to be the emulator of the masterplan. The simplified contour of the building amplified by the sharp edges of the roof and the minimalistic lines of the wood pillars doubling as glass frame, all help creating a landmark visible from the nearby roads. The slant ceiling ending with indirect V-shaped Lights glows through the glazed façade to magnify the effect of landmark on the evenings. 


Inami koro is keeping the same ancestral techniques but adding few features that makes it a unique experience of an ordinary practice. The new herb-goods shop and udon restaurant undertakes an analogous attitude and reuse conventional architectural techniques to display the Edge of the Wood.


Udon is a Japanese traditional thick noodles dish still widely popular in today’s Japan. Inami Koro restaurant is reinventing the dish while keeping traditional techniques. Their New restaurant and shop in Miki city emulates their approach in an architectural way by giving the traditional wooden structure a new breath.

The structure uses conventional wooden construction methods, while refreshing it by reshaping few aspects. The roof was rotated around the eaves resulting in a sharp edge and a slant ceiling that crosses the glazed façade towards the center of the building.


Miki city wants to develop this new area and needed to attract new businesses. This building acts as a Landmark with its white simplified contour and soft lights glowing through the glazed façade on the evening.

Project Credits
Architects
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
ManufacturersLIXIL
ManufacturersAICA
ManufacturersSincol
Product Spec Sheet
Manufacturers
by LIXIL
Manufacturers
by AICA
Manufacturers
by Sincol
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