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Tradition Meets Modern: A Renovation Journey through Kyoto’s Machiya

Posted by Heritage Homes Japan on 2023-10-10

In the heart of Kyoto, where ancient traditions meet modern aspirations, lies a recently purchased traditional Kyoto townhouse. This important piece of history is about to undergo an extensive renovation, a blend of preserving its cultural heritage and infusing contemporary comforts.

  1. Preservation vs. Renovation: HHJ’s architect begins by discussing the importance of preserving the original features of the Machiya—sliding doors, wooden beams, and the distinctive sloping roof. The challenge lies in seamlessly integrating modern amenities without compromising the traditional charm.
  2. Materials and Techniques: Our contractors elaborate on the choice of materials, emphasizing the use of authentic Japanese materials such as cedar and natural stone. Traditional building techniques will be employed to maintain the Machiya’s authenticity and superior build quality.
  3. Spatial Transformation: The floor plan is examined as the team discusses the spatial layout. The goal is to create an open and airy atmosphere while respecting the original design of the Machiya. The architect suggests the introduction of a small courtyard, bringing natural light and greenery into the living spaces.
  4. Technological Integration: Our client expresses his desire for modern conveniences. The team discusses how to discreetly integrate technology, such as heating and cooling systems, into the Machiya without compromising its visual integrity.
  5. Timeline and Budget: Our contractor provides a realistic timeline for the renovation, considering the meticulous nature of the work. The budget is discussed openly, with a focus on transparency and ensuring that every yen is spent wisely.

The collaboration between the architect, contractor, and client signifies a commitment to honouring Kyoto’s rich cultural legacy while embracing the needs of contemporary living. This renovation is not just a construction project; it’s a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, a celebration of the timeless beauty that is the Machiya of Kyoto.

Heritage Homes Japan carpentry team meeting deciding the final design for a Kyoto townhouse renovation

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