raumus transforms minka with thatched roof in house + studio in japan

Raumus restores traditional Japanese house in Okayama

in Okayama, Japanraumus renovate an old metal Thatched Minka (Japanese-style traditional house), giving the space a free-flowing, flexible shape to function as a family House, a studio of a ceramic artist and a community space. Originally built as a farmhouse, the house has undergone several separate extensions and renovations over time, creating a disjointed, cramped space. The Fukoaka-based architecture studio, led by Masashi Takeda, is restoring the structure’s traditional Japanese architecture, including the dark wooden structural frame, while revitalizing the interior layout. To accommodate a modern lifestyle, a sense of openness is created, with contemporary furnishings and fixtures, and large multi-purpose spaces with flexible space distributions.

all images courtesy of raumus

the multifunctional home also serves as a ceramics studio

While preserving the traditional minka architecture, the house integrates into the surrounding urban context. On the outside it has an old thatched roof topped with a metal element, and on the inside the dark structural columns and beams of plywood have been preserved. raumus also finishes the ceiling with both dark and light colored lauan plywood to match the existing structural frames, as well as the lighter modern furniture.

the architects restoring the sense of privacy and a large, open-plan interior, revitalizing the shape of the home in modern times and expanding it to accommodate the different lifestyles of this family. Hosting a family of four, including a potter, a cook and their young children, the house also functions as a studio for ceramics artists and a social gathering place for the local community. By uniting these functions, the architects reconfigure the house into three spaces: the doma, the daytime living space and the sleeping space. The doma (the earthen floor) and the hall are separated by three sliding doors, which can be opened to create a 90 square meters (980 square feet) room. The hipped ceiling, which follows the shape of the roof, is approximately 4 meters high and creates a comfortable, open space.

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the house has an old thatched roof with a metal element on top

The house evolves with the lifestyle of the residents

By ‘creating a home that enables change’ and growing with the changing lifestyle and needs of the family, raumus opts for flexible partitions instead of permanently closed rooms. Rather than build a nursery for the young children, the architects use existing structural materials to simply divide the rooms, which can be easily reconfigured. The man’s ceramics studio is also located on the site, and the doma earthen floor is intended as a children’s room.

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in Okayama, Japan, raumus is renovating an old thatched minka

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the space is adapted to a modern lifestyle and accommodates various functions