“House and Office in Hofu” is a renovation project of a 40-year-old building.
The steel-frame structured building was remodeled to include various spaces such as living, office, warehouse, shop, and more. The client for this project is the owner of a brewery founded in 1865. Apart from the traditional products soy and miso, the company also works on developing new products using the old techniques refined through the brewery’s history.
While the brewing is located elsewhere, the client wanted to create a place with a cleaner atmosphere for other parts of the business; such as office space, shop, and storage space for the nationwide distribution of the products. Fortunately, the building for this renovation project was large, so it was possible to create both House and Business within the frame of the existing architecture.
Wanting to bring a part of the brewery’s history into the project, the outer walls were clad in wood, from old miso barrels, disassembled by the client. The charred wood refers both to the brand image but also to its surroundings. The roof and main structure of the building were kept intact and a plan element was inserted into the open space, rotated 45 degrees against the existing building’s grid. The idea of twisting the spaces 45 degrees is to create a more ambiguous feel between the old and new architecture. It also creates diverse spaces under the eaves and courtyards, like wedged pieces of land between square fields.
Due to the mixed-use nature of this building, an unspecified number of people enter and leave daily. Therefore, we choose to place the building’s functions so that they gradually become more private. The warehouse and shop are located to the north-facing the road, the office and prototyping room for product development is placed in the center, and furthest back to the south is the client’s residence. Looking from one room, the layers of glass doors and walls create depth and gradation, blurring the boundaries between spaces.
Location / Hofu, Yamaguchi, Japan
House /Family Structure / Parents + Children
Tato Architects/Yo Shimada
Team / Yo Shimada, Keita Kurokoshi
COCA-Z Tatsuya Kokaji
Fukumitsu Juken/Makoto Ikeda
Main Structure, Steel
Building Area 460㎡
Total Floor Area 460㎡
Photography by Shinkenchiku Sha with courtesy of Tato Architects