Town House in Sawaragicho

JA+U : Town House in Sawaragicho by Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates
Machiya townhouses, some of which still exist in old cities like Kyoto, are usually narrow in width and long in depth. They often contain tsuboniwa – small courtyard gardens – towards the rear of their deep interiors for gathering more daylight. When the current owner acquired this machiya ten years ago, most of the home’s interior had been altered from its original form, except for tsuboniwa.

JA+U : Town House in Sawaragicho by Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates
In order to restore the original look and feel of the machiya, the architect recovered the original shinkabe (walls that are inserted between columns).

JA+U : Town House in Sawaragicho by Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates
Aratani also recreated the doma (earthen floor) extending from the entrance to the rear courtyard.

JA+U : Town House in Sawaragicho by Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates
Parts of the structure had to be replaced or strengthened. Three boxes made from 28 mm-thick (1.1 inch) structural plywood were inserted between columns and joists to act as supplemental load-bearing walls and ceilings.

JA+U : Town House in Sawaragicho by Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates
The newly inserted boxes gently separate the rooms while preserving a visual connection throughout the long home’s interior.

JA+U : Town House in Sawaragicho by Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates
Square openings in the boxes’ ceilings show glimpses of the original roof structure above.

Shogo Aratani Architects & Associates is based in Hyogo Prefecture. Their works encompass furniture design and residential and commercial architecture. Some of their residential works such as Tutanaga House and Trapezoid are featured in our previous Jutakutokushu (Special Housing) magazines.