Ue-Project - dwell.com, 03/13/2008

When Asako Yamashita and brothers Koji and Yuji Yamanaka of Geneto, a Japanese architecture firm, were asked to redesign a prefabricated house built 25 years ago by Japanese the housing manufacturer Sekisui Famis, they wanted focus their efforts on the interior.

“We think the real meaning of renovation is keeping the landscape and how we can have a relation with it,” Koji told me this week. He explained to me that Japanese prefab became popular at the end of the 1970s, when the economic boom began to slow. Relatively cheap and easy to construct, prefabs filled the suburbs of Tokyo and Osaka, giving the suburban landscape its aesthetic identity. For Geneto, the preservation of this prefab’s exterior in the Shiga province near Kyoto was a nod to its historical and social significance.

The interior, however, is a dynamic blend of natural wood and sharp, sleek black—a fresh look at an older design.

ue-projectue-project Photo by Masato Kawano