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Wooden Forest Apartments, Tokyo, Japan

Wednesday 01 Apr 2009

Wood glorious wood

(c) Ikeda Yukie Architects 
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Japanese renovation creates surprisingly pleasant contrast of ages 

Originally, this second floor space was an old style Japanese dormitory with several walls dividing the floor into tiny rooms. Since then, numerous renovations and extensions were carried out but many of the old features remained. Immediately prior to Ikeda Yukie Architects joining the project, the second floor was used as a part of the family house and remained a bit chaotic with a scattering of columns and remnants of the old walls. The renovation would create three separate rooms for private rental.

In order to comply with Japanese law, any changes to the structure of a wooden house situated in a fire protection area would require approval and take considerable time. The client was interested in a quicker turn-around and therefore the architects could not remove the all-too-many forest-like columns.

The remaining structures other than columns weren’t suitable to be seen so they were wrapped allowing for the forest-like columns to stand out beautifully. To counteract the ‘busy-ness’ created the columns, solid blocks of colour were added with movable boxes which function both as storage and partition.

In order to minimize the other elements, white wrapping was utilized. This ultimately resulted in forest-like columns as colours seemingly floating in space and a clear and beautiful contrast between history and the future.

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