This comprehensive renovation project consists of home and office spaces at upper and lower levels of an old historical building from 1912.

It is located in Kenosha, Japan, and was designed by LEVEL Architects.

Floor Renovation in Kenosha by LEVEL Architects:

“This is the renovation of a territory of old house from the 80’s in a neighborhood east of Minato-ku, Tokyo.

Located at the basement of the large house, the change is small (about 5 m [32.8 ft]) from the adjacent main building. This is because we don’t want to lose the original connotations of the house and we don’t want to substitute the new one, so we must take account of the space build before scheduling a renovation.

Firstly, the house was thoroughly renovated. Borders and internal walls were removed, and the stair connecting the three levels was made double high. For starters, the entire bottom section of the house was removed.

The residence is a result of the fusion and continuous development of the ownership and the architects. We began with a basic plan, so that the new remodeling magnifies the existing space. We then made suitable choices in terms of colours and materials, until the desired effect was achieved.

If there is any one material that immediately comes to mind when thinking about renovations or remodels in general, it is wood. This is because we wanted this house to feel that sense of permanence that wood possesses. Due to its sturdy and expensive properties, wood is a very popular choice in many homes, both in wooden floors and in walls.

Lastly, we wanted to provide the owners with maximum convenience and comfort when it comes to working. In terms of scheduling, we planned the house to be used for a short meeting or afternoon game, so the spaces were lightened up and simplified.

The house is set on a very small area of 691 m2, so we carefully considered the positions of the rooms and the unique circumstances of the house before initiating the design process.

Its front road leads to a small wooden community called “Tokyo” which hides the exact address of the house. At the entrance of the house there is a small hall and a small bathroom. The living room and open kitchen are located in the rear section, overlooking a huge roof garden with butterfly roof.

The private room areas are located in the upper floor and the upper bathroom has been placed in the newly designed top floor, near the master bedroom.

The client’s background includes continued education in photography and painting, and relatively high black exposure in the walls, which is given by the light reflection of the wooden roof.

Its extensive roof area serves to shield the house from the strong tropical sunlight and also from the active volcanoes that the area attracts.

We purposely left the roof of the roof unfinished, as it does not have any preconceived function. It is simply a space where the photovoltaic power that comes from the sun can be realized.

We did not try to hide the roof and the building itself, but we did attempt to empower it by making it a garden where the owner can enjoy relaxing moments and calm moments by the pool.

The roof space was originally intended to be an unused area, but it is now clear that its intended purpose is precisely what its owners want: having a garden and being able to enjoy the sun.

The revealed roof, where the sun can be felt, is a space where silent and peaceful moments can be experienced.”

Photos by: Masao Nishikawa

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