Weekend House in Kyoto is a minimalist residence located in Kyoto, Japan, designed by kooo architects. A machiya is a type of traditional Japanese house where the two side walls do not have windows because they are shared by the neighbors, and the interior tends to be dark especially due to its long and narrow shape. A skylight was added according to the owner’s lifestyle, bringing new ways of illuminating and ventilating the space. The designers also removed the rotten and non-functioning building materials and upgraded sound and heat insulation quality. Selected beam, columns, and the backyard were preserved and repaired. In contrast with the modern interior design, the beauty of these historical elements stands out more.
In terms of façade design, the architects chose to respect the historical style of the Kyoto streets and made minimum changes to the appearance. They invited traditional craftsmen to only touch-up the earth wall and re-sealed the decaying wooden window frame. The architects believe being respective to the historical values should not be blindly enduring a lifestyle that is no longer appropriate nowadays, but at the same time, they also should not abandon all traces that once existed. They hope that one can feel the memories of the past by increasing the presence of the existing components.
Photography by Kei Shin Horikoshi