Photo © KOICHI TORIMURA
 
The architect may not have done much on the exterior, but he has given a completely new meaning to it. I like contrast and contradiction in general, and that is the first reason why I am intrigued by this apartment. And there is another reason, which may have more significance. Japan is notorious for demolishing structurally sound buildings and houses to build brand spanking new ones in a relatively short period of time. Although remodeling and renovation have grown considerably in recent years, many Japanese architects consider those as sideline businesses. There are still so many houses and buildings worth to be renovated rather than torn down and replaced, and it is time to preserve what is still recyclable. Here, a typical middle-class single family house from the 1980s, which had not been inhabited, has undergone a magical transformation into a two unit apartment house. HANEGI G-House, designed by Makoto Yamguchi (whose most recent project I FIND EVERYTHING was shown here a week ago) recently, is a perfect example what more architects of his generation should be doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos © KOICHI TORIMURA
 
Who: Makoto Yamaguchi Design
What: Conversion of a single-family dwelling to a two unit apartment
Where: Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
When: February 2010
How: Two-story wood frame construction
Site Area: 1,033 square feet (95.99m²)
Construction Area: 573 square feet (53.21m²)
Total Floor Area: 1,063 square feet (98.76m²)
 
All projects by Makoto Yamaguchi shown on this blog