京町家の継承と更新Inheritance and update of Traditional Kyoto machiya


001: Tawara An Retreat

Description :
Renovation of a Kyoto machiya house built in 1897 and 1897 (partly built in 1932). We propose to change the use of the house between day and night. Daytime: The east wing will be used as a bookstore, and the west wing as a hotel, making it a micro-tourism facility that can be used not only by domestic and international tourists, but also by people in Kyoto. Night: The east and west wings will be used as an integrated hotel, providing a space and value different from other machiya hotels with a sense of openness and an extensive book library.
This is a proposal for renovation that considers the inheritance and renewal of a historical building.
Creator :




















Location and Challenges

Kyoto is located in the heart of Kyoto, about a 10-minute walk from Karasuma-Oike, Marutamachi, and Sanjo stations, and is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, having been ranked the most popular city in the world by Condé Nast Traveler in 2020. Kyoto. However, due to the effects of the new coronavirus infection, the number of tourists from overseas has decreased dramatically. Therefore, while taking into consideration the recovery of the number of tourists in the future, the program also takes into account micro-tourism that can be enjoyed by users in the neighborhood.

About the existing historical buildings

Built in 1897 (partly built in 1932), this Kyoto machiya is located on a narrow frontage and deep site with a street garden extending to the back. There are two separate buildings, east and west, on the deep site, with a courtyard in between. Currently, the building is used as a lodging facility and has been renovated minimally by updating the sashes and walls to meet the building code, while retaining the existing atmosphere to the maximum extent.

This project proposes a renovation to update the building into a modern space and program, while taking advantage of its historicity and the fact that it is divided into two buildings.


Program and Aims

Originally, the building was an accommodation facility divided into two buildings. In this project, we took advantage of the fact that it was divided into two buildings, and turned the west building into an accommodation facility. The east wing, on the other hand, has a different day and night program, with a bookstore during the day and a library living room available to guests at night, and the hotel space expanding at night to provide a special experience. The partial conversion to a bookstore makes the facility, which was originally intended for tourists coming from outside Kyoto, a facility that can also bring in book lovers = people within Kyoto. In addition, since hotel guests can enjoy books during their stay, the program is also suitable for longer stays.

A movable wall is placed between the two buildings, east and west, to flexibly divide them according to changes in the day and night program, or to connect them as one.


Inheritance and renewal of history

When it comes to renovating a historical building, there are several options. The options we took were as follows.

(1) Retain the existing structure and roof that have remained since the Meiji era.

2) Use the existing walls and fences that are necessary for functionality and relationship with the surrounding area.

3) Use glass as the boundary between the interior and exterior where the exterior walls have been removed.

Through these three operations, we tried to inherit and renew the history.

Specifically, the perimeter walls were left as they were to ensure privacy inside the walls. The exterior walls of the two buildings inside the wall are made of glass, creating an open space where the interior of the wall, including the street garden, can be felt as one. The structure has been partially reinforced to ensure earthquake resistance.

As a result of the above, while retaining the atmosphere of a Kyoto machiya, the renovation will create a space with a sense of openness that could not have been achieved in the Meiji era, and is a unique mix of old and new.
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***


  • [DIAGRAM]The perimeter of the building will be left as it is, and the exterior walls will be made of glass to create an open space in the center of Kyoto while protecting privacy.

  • Appearance

  • [DAY TIME] East Wing Bookstore

  • [DAY TIME] East wing, glassed-in room for writing and working

  • [DAY TIME] West Wing Hotel

  • [NIGHT TIME] East Wing Library Living Room

  • [NIGHT TIME] West Wing Kitchen Dining Room Hotel that can be used as a whole to the west wing book library

  • [DAY TIME PLAN] To protect the privacy of guests, the east and west wings are separated by movable walls. The east wing is used as a bookstore where anyone can easily come and go.

  • [NIGHT TIME PLAN] At night, the east and west wings can be used as one, and guests can use the former bookstore as a library living room during the day.




We are a design architect firm based in Tokyo, Japan.
Yohei Nishida graduated from Takaharu Tezuka Laboratory, Tokyo City University Graduate School in 2015, and studied at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design in 2014.
After working at Go Hasegawa and Associates, he established an independent architect firm YNY at the end of 2016. In 2018, he joined Tokyo City University as a part-time lecturer.

In addition to creating buildings as an architect, he is also involved in addressing the social issue of vacant houses, giving lectures to local governments, and collaborating with the art and digital fields on art activities and upcycling projects.

His major awards include the Grand Prize at the 2012 Hakodate Monozukuri Forum Architectural Competition, the Grand Prize and Honorable Mention at the 41st Nisshin Kogyo Architectural Design Competition, and a finalist at the 2015 Tokyo Kenchiku Collection National Master Design Exhibition.






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