Hitotomori Head Office Adding Japanese Culture To Their Workplace

Hitototmori’s goal is to give not just architectural design, but also “design for living,” which incorporates suggestions for living a healthy existence through the improvement of interpersonal relationships and eating habits. In the city of Nara, where people, ancient forests, and urban areas all coexist in one historically rich environment, we renovated a 140-year-old traditional Edo Period residence. Our principal working location is the rebuilt Hitotomori space, which serves as a design office, hotel, and cafe.

Traditional Roof Tiles At The Head Office

Hitotomori Head Office / Hitotomori Architects,© Hiroki Kawata

The 140-year-old main structure and a panelled addition were separated by a courtyard garden prior to reform. The main structure included a residential area as well as a traditional Japanese confectionery shop. The annex served as both a kitchen and an office. Mt. Wakakusa and Kasugayama old-growth forests, both of which are world heritage sites, are on the left, while residential areas are on the right. Hitotomori is fortunate to be situated in a unique urban setting, close to an old-growth forest where logging has been prohibited for over a century.

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The main building on the right is covered in older traditional roof tiles. On the left is the annex, which has a red roof. The camellia sasanqua tree in the centre is surrounded by corrugated sheets. The structures of the buildings have remained substantially unchanged, as has the exterior. Below, we’ll go through some of the ways the room has been updated in a modern way while yet keeping the current structure and feel of a traditional Nara Machiya house.

Traditionally Deep Japanese Culture

Hitotomori Head Office / Hitotomori Architects,© Hiroki Kawata

Courtyards were once used as a place for people to gaze over gardens of stone flower beds and were erected as a way to introduce both sunlight and a breeze into the middle of traditionally deep Japanese households. We employed a doma, or traditional earthen floor, in this refurbishment to allow guests to appreciate the garden up close while still providing adequate drainage. The stone flower beds were removed, and the garden was reconstructed as a landscape with a view of the forest.

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