Yufutoku is a newly constructed ‘Machiya’ building. A machiya is a traditional building typology that resembles a shophouse, with a shop on the ground floor and the family home of the shop owner on the upper floor. Machiya has become rare in the market economy, leading to the disintegration of generations and social structures. It is increasingly difficult to run a “mom and pop” shop that is closely connected to the neighborhood and the local economy. To celebrate the spirit of local business and promote the “machiya” building typology, the design focused on the interface with the street, especially the “machiya-style” wood louver facade treatment. The design is inspired by the traditional Japanese wooden louver facade, but the depth of each louver is parametrically modulated across the facade. Behind the facade, the father kneads fresh SOBA noodles, the mother serves the noodles to the customer, and the son cooks the noodles 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 spilling through the facade allow a gradual change of characters in response to the time of day, traffic lights, climatic lighting conditions in changing weather and seasons.



Structural Engineering: Alan Burden, Structured Environment

Collaboration with ISSHO

Photography: Kouichi Torimura

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