Yufutoku is a new construction ‘Machiya’ building. ‘Machiya’ is a traditional building typology which is like a ‘Shophouse’ where the ground floor is a shop, and above is the shop owner’s family house. Machiya has become increasingly rare in the market economy which leads to a disintegration of generations and social structure. It is increasingly difficult to run a ‘papa and mom’ shop that has a close tie to the neighborhood and local economy. To celebrate the spirit of local business and to advance ‘Machiya’ building typology, the design focused on the interface on the street, especially the facade treatment with ‘Machiya-style’ wooden louvers. The design was inspired by the traditional Japanese wood louvers facade, but the depth of each louver is parametrically modulated across the facade. Behind the facade, the papa knead fresh SOBA noodle, and mom serves the noodle to the customer and their son cooks the noodle in the back kitchen. It is the traditional SOBA shop that has a ‘Noren-wake’. The building becomes a ‘lantern’ on the street in the old neighborhood, the patterns of light spill through the façade allow a gradual change of characters in response to the time of a day, traffic lights, climatic lighting conditions in changing weather and season.





Structural Engineering: Alan Burden, Structured Environment

Collaboration with ISSHO

Photography: Kouichi Torimura

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