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Tato Architects Uses Old Barrels To Clad House and Office in Hōfu

Shinkenchiku Sha

Tato Architects has recently transformed a 40-year-old building in Hōfu, Japan, into a modern house and office for a brewing company. The original building has been remodeled to include living spaces as well as an office, warehouse facilities, a shop, and more. “The client for this project is the owner of a brewery founded in 1865,” said Yo Shimada, founder of Tato Architects. “Apart from the traditional products soy and miso, the company also work on developing new products using the old techniques refined through the brewery’s history.

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House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects

While the brewing is located elsewhere, the client wanted to create a place with a cleaner atmosphere for other parts of the business; such as office space, shop and storage space for nationwide distribution of the products. “Fortunately, the building for this renovation project was large, so it was possible to create both House and Business within the frame of the existing architecture,” continues Shimada.

 House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects

Wanting to bring a part of the brewery’s history into the project, the architect clad the outer walls was clad in wood, from old miso barrels, disassembled by the client himself. The roof and main structure of the building was kept intact and a plan element was inserted into the open space, rotated 45 degrees against the grid of the existing building. “The idea of twisting the spaces 45 degrees is to create a more ambiguous feel between the old and new architecture,” says the Japanese architect. “It also creates diverse spaces under the eaves and courtyards, like wedged pieces of land between square fields.”

 House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects

As the building comprises both public as well as residential spaces, the design team chose to organize the functions in accordance with their need for privacy. The warehouse and shop is located to the north facing the road, the office and prototyping room for product development is placed in the center, and furthest back to the south is the client’s residence. “Looking from one room, the layers of glass doors and walls create depth and gradation, blurring the boundaries between spaces,” concludes Shimada.

 House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato ArchitectsHouse and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects  House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects House and Office in Hofu, Japan / Tato Architects