Toyosakinagaya

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

Drawing courtesy of architect

The Toyosaki nagaya is composed of six two-story houses. Newer buildings have sprung up all around them, cutting off these homes from the rest of the city. In summertime, a breeze blows down the 3.5 meter-wide (11.5 feet) unpaved alleyway that runs through the center of the houses. It was once a place for residents to gather for a quiet morning chat.

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

Some of these hidden nagaya had been long forgotten. They became dilapidated and unfit to live in. The owners, residents, students, and professors of Osaka City University collaborated in to revitalize the buildings and reinvigorate the small community between them.

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

The original exteriors have been preserved wherever possible, to retain their character and sense of place. The sliding doors of each house’s front room opens onto an an engawa (narrow porch) overlooking its own tsuboniwa (a tiny front garden).

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

JA+U : Toyosakinagaya by Osaka City University / Takehara and Koike Laboratory

Drawing courtesy of architect

Inside, the original floor plan, the original layout of small rooms has been retained. The timber frames were structurally surveyed, renovated, and, where necessary, reinforced or replaced to meet current seismic safety standards. Original materials and newly added elements co-exist to preserve a once lost part of Osaka’s architectural heritage.