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Murasakino Wakuden



Murasakino Wakuden

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  Designer : Waro Kish + K. Associates

Location : 28 Murasakino-unrinin-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan

Year of Construction : 1995

Structure : reinforced concrete

Floor area : 104 m2

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Architect Waro Kishi's approach to 'Japaneseness' or the regional tradition, is far cry from the pseudo-stylistic historicism which gains popular acceptance for the new rich class and authorities in Asia. The architect, instead, pays great deal of attention to the core of the Japaneseness and the characteristic context of the traditional Kyoto street (consisting of rows of  Machiyas). The simplicity of Japanese aesthetics is deemed to be the root of the reductionist design of the building. This building is located at a corner where two rectangular lines of Machiyas meet, and its two facades with differently designed timber screens conclude the lines. The tones of the facades harmonize with those of the neighboring houses through the use of timber as a common material. However, the gently pitched roof, which helps the building blend into its context, is not visible at eye level.   

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The Restaurant Wakuden is a  small and simple three-storyed Obento-ya(lunch-box shop) inserted into a land parcel of 60m2. The bold exposed concrete walls containing timber screens shield the interior of the building from the busy Kitaoji Street, in a subtle manner. In contrast, the interior is open to the small entrance yard which is enclosed by three bare concrete walls and is linked to the greenery of the Daitokuji temple site across the street. The courtyard has some signs of Japanese garden design.



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A view of the Daitokuji temple on the opposite side is brought into the main dining hall of the second floor through a timber screen. 



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Such understated designs like this can be not boring with rich detail. The detail of this building is closely related with building materials, I beam, timber, and concrete. Especially the treatment of timber screens reminds us of that of the traditional Japanese siding wall.

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