This Japanese building originally served as a storehouse, and was first built over 120 years ago. The storehouse was partially damaged during the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, but in 2014 the site was acquired by new owners who set about restoring it.
The project has been dubbed the Rebirth House by the designers, Ryo Matsui Architects. All in all it features a total of 1,184 square feet (110 square meters) spread over a basement, first floor, and mezzanine. Given it’s history, the architects attempted to keep the majority of existing structure.
During the renovation it was found that some aspects of the structure couldn’t be repaired. Instead they were replaced with new materials that would help maintain the character and atmosphere of the property.
From the outside the Rebirth House appears to be much smaller than it actually is. It’s been finished with a translucent wall cladding that allows difussed light to filter through to the interior during the day. At night the square-openings are visible, providing some extra points of interest.
The interior is bright and spacious thanks to the all-white finish and the tall exposed roof. The timber structure steals the show and draws your eyes upwards. Despite its name, Rebirth House hasn’t been converted to a home. Instead it partly maintains its original use, acting as a wine cellar in the basement.
The basement, unlike the upper level, is dark and moody. Surrounded by red-brick walls, and containing a table and chairs, it’s quite a relaxing space that’s intended for entertaining guests and family. From the architects: “Inheriting from the old memory and the new behavior, we hope it becomes the house that be loved from generation to generation.”
For more Japanese houses check out this small industrial-inspired home called Ishibe House. Or, this multi-generational home by KASA Architects. See all Japanese houses.