Kooo Architects renovated a Machiya house in Kyoto, Japan with white-tinted rooms that update the look of the interior while retaining its historical value. A machiya is a type of traditional Japanese house in which the two side walls have no windows because they are shared with the neighboring building. Such an interior tends to be dark, especially due to its long and narrow shape. The architects have succeeded in transforming the residence into a sequence of bright, light-flooded interiors through a series of spatial interventions.
Kooo Architects have added a skylight to the main room of the house, which, along with the small open-air courtyard, helps illuminate and ventilate the building. Several rooms enjoy the view of this inner courtyard and thus more natural light. All rotten and non-working building materials have been removed to improve sound and heat insulation properties. At the same time, existing elements such as certain beams, columns and the outdoor courtyard were preserved and restored to their original appearance. In contrast to the modern interior, the beauty of these historical elements is more noticeable and these elements also connect the rooms with one another.
Regarding the facade design, the architects have respected the historical style of the streets of Kyoto and changed the appearance minimally. Traditional craftsmen were invited to just repair the earth wall and close the decaying wooden window frame again.