INTERMEDIA renovates japanese house into mixed-use hub


 

Located in a quiet and rural area of Saikai City in Nagasaki, Japan, ”Hoget” is a mixed-use compound hosting a local cafe, an office, a digital factory lab, and an outdoor event space. These programs are held inside a former private residence renovated in 2020 by INTERMEDIA.

 

With no railroads, no highways, and barely any retail shops or restaurants in sight, the project offers the local community a kind of lifeline to boost activities and regional tourism. ‘‘We are trying to create a place where residents and people from other regions visiting the West Sea are mixed, where various people come and go for various purposes and interact naturally with each other’s other’s activities,” writes the studio. 

private japanese house given new life as mixed-use destination by INTERMEDIA

all images © Yashiro Photo Office 

 

 

When visiting the site for the first time, INTERMEDIA (see more here) was taken aback by the existing layout: A high platform that rose 2 meters above the road from the center, with a private house built on top of it in an enclosed fashion. Combined with the texture of the existing stone walls and roof tiles, the architecture gave the impression of a fortress — challenging the architects’ next steps: how to distribute programs and connect to the context.

 

Responding to the challenges, INTERMEDIA gently dismantled the central platform, converting it into a large staircase that gently links the house to the town street and the medium-sized plaza right next to it. Additionally, thanks to the house’s wide opening toward the town square, the team was able to set up a friendly play area for children to run around.

private japanese house given new life as mixed-use destination by INTERMEDIA 

opening up the original architecture with simple, clean gestures 

 

 

A new wing wall was also installed around the opening, containing cantilevered eaves pillars and structural plywood covering it on both sides. It also serves as an earthquake-resistant, reinforced wall for the existing house. When viewed from the inside, the eaves present a stepped shape. ‘Since there are no laminated lumber factories in Nagasaki , we decided to expose the shape of the laminated beams as they are; these were manufactured by combining 105×105 square timbers distributed in the prefecture,’ continues the studio.

 

The renovated interiors, meanwhile, still preserve the house’s original texture. The floor, however, was reworked in three different places, and the central space was wrapped in an expanded metal framework serving as partitions. When open, the expanded metal makes room for a wide range of spatial configurations depending on the type of activity or occasion being held.

private japanese house given new life as mixed-use destination by INTERMEDIA

white-painted metal mesh partitions help customize the central space

intermedia

 



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