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2017年01月 アーカイブ


Verolino Residence

The Italian city of Modena has been flourishing since the middle ages. A twenty-minute drive from the town center, in a vast field, is where the Verolino residence is found. It is a two-story stone building (partially wooden), and was built at the end of the 19th century. The owner couple had lived in Modena in the past. The husband, Raffaele handles antique carpets and tapestry as his business. In the past, he used part of the living room as his showroom. The couple decided to renovate the stone building into a home that doubles as a showroom, in order to achieve larger space for the showroom, and also to live in an environment surrounded by nature.
The renovation plan divided the building into two; a showroom and residential space. The space is split from left to right along the long entrance hall. The showroom space was formerly used as a stable and storage. The first floor has a classical atmosphere created by the stone pillars and cross vault ceiling. On the other hand, the second floor is a dynamic space with a ceiling height of 7m at its highest point. Multiple antique tapestries and carpets from the 16th and 18th centuries are displayed in the space. The residential space has a formal living room and dining room on the first floor. The second floor is where the main bedroom and bathroom are located. The interior is an exquisite mix of modern and classical, with elegant furniture and antique carpets, large oil paintings and modern objects. This home, doubling as a gallery and also a residence with carpets as its main decoration, is beautiful, strong and timeless.


Eiso Residence

Located southeast of Toyama city, is the home of Nobuo Eiso, the former art director of the "AUBADE Hall" of Toyama city. The home is a two-story building with a gabled roof, standing in the mid-slope of a mountain with a magnificent view: a cedar forest to the northwest and the Sea of Japan beyond the countryside view to the north. Takuo Eiso, an architect, positioned the building to face the Sea of Japan. He selected tile-roof and a combination of mortar with black-painted cedar wainscot panels for the external walls. This created a wall that exposes the timber beams and pillars and blends into the surrounding nature, giving the home a noble appearance. The view from the entrance will take one's sight straight towards the Sea of Japan with no obstruction. Each room is decorated with English antiques and traditional handcrafted folk furniture, and blends perfectly with the paintings, calligraphy, and pottery selected by the owner. The home was completed in 2000. Five years later, the owner planned a space that serves as his study and gallery at the southwest side of the land. The shape of the building, seen from above, is like a circle cut off straight at one side. He positioned the circular side towards the main house. The light from the clerestory windows shines softly along the ceiling rafter, and makes the room shady.


S Residence

The owner lives in an 83 year-old home consisting of a main house and a two-story wooden building. The house is located in Suita city, Osaka, and stands on a 2000m2 area of land. The house has been renovated a couple of times to accommodate the family's changing lifestyle. For this renovation, however, the owner decided to change the loft which was previously used as storage, into a guest room. Architect Jun Izue planned the renovation.
Izue ensured there would be plenty of air and lighting in the guest room to create a suitable thermal environment for guests. He designed a partition wall at the center of the single space room. Then, he located the living room, gallery, bedroom and storage sections along the path around the wall, so one can walk around through the different sections.
The gallery section draws one's attention the most. The space is colored with unique art and sculptures, some of which were bought during trips by the owner; others were selected by Izue. The partition wall was painted navy so it contrasts well with the white painted ceiling and walls. Spotlights were positioned to light up displayed art. The old Japanese chest of drawers and large oblong chest is positioned like a piece of art, which supports the completion of the space and harmonizes its modern feel with 83 years of history.


House in Koishikawa

Architects Masako and Shoji Hayashi's (who are also husband and wife) home "Our House" has been repeatedly extended and reconstructed since its original completion in 1955. Originally in '55, the building was an approximately 58m2 small rectangular one-story home made of stacked concrete blocks. In 1978, 23 years after completion, the whole second floor and kitchen at the southwest was expanded. During this expansion, the second floor could not be simply added on to the first due to the revision of the Building Standards Law. Therefore a wooden constructed cantilever roof was built over the first floor and the second floor was built on top of the cantilever roof. With this renovation, the floor area increased to 238m2 and has the external appearance it does today.
After the couple's death, the home had been left with no resident. However, since 2013, architect Koichi Yasuda began living at the home. He replaced the wet area and air-conditioning equipment but kept the reusable parts through polishing. For example, he simply polished the teak in the dining room. He is using the existing sofa after having added urethane and reupholstering. He revitalized this masterpiece home not by merely sustaining it, but by carefully selecting parts of the home to keep and parts of the home to repair.



baxter, an Italian furniture brand, creates contemporary furniture using its unique leather processing technology. Their new showroom "BAXTER CINEMA" opened in Milan in 2015. The building where the showroom is located used to be a cinema cherished by the locals. It was converted into a new concept showroom where one can experience the brand's refined craftsmanship. The showroom is open with high ceilings. Displayed in rows are the different styles of suggested interior coordination set against the backdrop of a home. At the center of these displays are the brand's new works, such as "INNSBRUCK" the bed, and "VIKTOR" the sofa system by DRAGA & AUREL. Among all the displays, the outdoor furniture "RIMINI" by Paola is particularly impressive, with its improved water and weather resistance despite maintaining its leather texture. baxter was the "talk of the town" at this year's Milano Salone, and has been referred to as "the collection that opens new dimensions for the brand." Soon, one will be able to experience what baxter has to offer in Tokyo, as a showroom is slated to open in December 2016. With its new product creations and overwhelming statement made through its presentations, baxter is a brand to follow.


Heat Control Design

When planning a home's thermal environment, one frequently encounters the phrase "passive design". The basic approach of passive design is to maximize the use of natural energy by planning architectural designs so that one doesn't need to rely on equipment to create a good thermal environment. The "active design" approach relies heavily on equipment and requires high insulation and airtight housing. It is challenging to use zero energy, i.e. using solar power and fuel cell storage for air-conditioning. Until 10 years ago, there had been a debate on whether passive or active design is better. Currently, the most common approach utilizes a mixture of both types of designs. Apart from high insulation, airtightness, and the creation of a heat barrier, it is as important to maintain a stable temperature throughout the house. Traditional Japanese homes use materials that have low thermal capacity (apart from mud walls), such as wood and paper, making homes easily heated and cooled. The current trend is to build homes with high thermal capacity, which can be achieved by using high insulation materials and reinforced concrete construction with a heat barrier coating. By constructing a high thermal capacity home, a comfortable environment can be maintained for a longer period by circulating only the minimum volume of hot or cool air throughout the home. A home with a comfortable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, achieved with the least amount of energy consumption possible should be the housing trend of the future.


N Residence

The N residence is located in a residential area of Moriya city, Ibaraki prefecture. The north side of the land abuts a rich green promenade. The south side, across the front road, is where the other residences are located. An architect, Satoshi Irei, planned a two-story wooden building approximately 6.9m high, which is comparatively low against the surrounding residence. The main spaces, such as the living room and dining room are situated on the first floor, with a terrace at the southeast side. The large opening connecting the dining room and terrace has 3 layers of different wooden doors: a louver door, a pear glass door, and a shoji screen door. The layered doors are retractable to create openness, but still maintain privacy and security. Irei considered the thermal environment too. An aerial heat collection solar system called "Soyokaze" was installed for air conditioning. This system collects heat through a glass panel placed on top of the roof. It works as a heater by circulating the warmed air inside and ventilates at the same time. There is a wood-burning stove on the first floor. The home's hot-water supply is created by an "ENE・FARM" household use fuel cell. A pleasant home, in perfect harmony with its surroundings, was created by combining modern equipment with historic touches, and by planning the size and layout of the building through careful analysis of the surrounding environment.



Known for its exquisite sewing techniques, the Italian furniture brand "arketipo" creates high-quality items that are similar to made-to-order items. The brand started in 1982 as a small family business that made only sofas. In the later 2000s, they created various items, such as tables and sideboards, which were made by the hands of well-trained craftsman. The brand gradually gained a reputation for having reliable technology. In 2011, arketipo became a subsidiary of "cattelan italia", an Italian furniture brand. Lorenzo Cattelan, the son of the founder of cattelan italia became its CEO and art director. Without losing the exquisite craftsman technology, he built up the brand's luxurious and elegant style.
One of the attractions of arketipo is the high-quality leather, which is tanned in the traditional method of Toscana in Italy, using botanical tannin. Both the leather and the fabric have nuanced variations in color. In addition, the delicate and detailed designs like the button tufts and beautiful stitches created by arketipo's team of sewing specialists are another attraction for many customers. The polyurethane foam used for the sofa cushions is finely tuned to match each design. Further, the concentration, shape, and methods selected for pasting keeps the sofas maximally comfortable while remaining pleasant to the touch.



Frey Residence

The home of Pierre Frey, communication director of French fabric brand PIEERE FREY, is located on the top floor of a 6-story building in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. The building was constructed in the 17th century. Pierre completely renovated the floor; over half of the space was previously used as offices. He began renovations in the living room by removing the wall separating the residential space at the north side towards the street, and the office space at the south side. The large single room became the living room, dining room and kitchen. By eliminating the living room ceiling, Pierre achieved a room with a high ceiling that is 5 meters at its highest point. In addition, lofts with top lights were designed at either end of the living room, enabling light to shine in. Artistic accents like a spiral staircase leading to the loft acts as an accent within the space, and emphasizes the high ceilings.
Pierre wanted an eclectic interior, and coordinated the rooms by combining different styles. He kept the base color of the spaces neutral, in order to individualize the antique table and personal sofas wrapped with geometrical patterned fabric of PIERRE FREY. The home is in line with the brand’s philosophy: finishing a space with premium quality, with both modern and traditional touches.


T Residence

A 10-minute drive from the city center of Milan Italy is the residential area where the T residence is, on the 7th floor of a 50 year old apartment. The owner bought the home 13 years ago, as it met the conditions of a comfortable lifestyle: close to the subway station and the owner’s workplace at that time.
The approximately 67m2 floor has a living room in front of the entrance door, a dining room and kitchen at the right side, all spreading out as a single space. The room at the left side is the bathroom and further in that direction, is the main bedroom. Originally, there used to be a wall between the living room and dining room, but, the former resident removed the wall and renovated it into a single room. The wood flooring and the painted walls are untouched and remain the same today. The uniqueness of this home is its irregular floor plan; three spaces are connected side by side, spreading out like a fan.
This unique floor plan may be thought of as a flaw, but in fact, it provides a wide opening to allow sunlight to shine in. The light reflects back toward the wall shaped like a three-way mirror, allowing light to wrap deep around the room, giving an open feeling to the space. Moreover, furniture add character to this light-filled home. For example, a dining table by Italian brand Zanotta, with its glass top board gives an airy impression. Open shelves by porro, another Italian brand, supply colors to the white walls. Potted plants placed in the corners of the living room and balcony and the gradation of green adds an atmosphere of nature to the home.


Yamazaki Residence

The Yamazaki residence, located in Tokyo, is where Takuji Yamazaki lives with his family. He is a designer who mainly designs spaces for hair salons. The home is part of 6-story above ground apartment constructed by reinforced concrete, built 25 years ago. He renovated the home himself. The uniqueness of the home is its floor plan, as the spaces are connected in three dimensions by skipped floors. He decided to fully utilize the volume of the space by eliminating walls and doors that he felt fragmented the space. He wanted to design the home feel expansive, and make it feel larger than its actual floor area of 72m2. One step inside the entrance, the home is a large single space; starting from the main bedroom, and up the stairs is the dining room and kitchen. Further up is the living room. Yamazaki removed the existing ceiling and reviled the building frames in order to increase the ceiling height, achieving 3.6m ceiling at its highest point, which adds to the open feeling of the space.
The residence has neither ceiling nor heat-insulating materials in order to make the space look larger. To make the most of this plan, the interior is finished with mortar, giving it a rough atmosphere. The space is industrial and rustic, with air conditioning and piping reveled deliberately. On the other hand, a good balance of softness is added to the space by the wooden kitchen counter, shades made from earth colored fabrics, and by plants placed here and there.



The French furniture brand, PHILIPPE HUREL, is known for making custom design furniture for their clients, similar to that of haute couture dressmaking. The product designs the brand creates are inspired by continuously studying various scenes that could happen within one’s lifestyle. As the owner of the brand and a designer, Philippe Hurel says, “A one-and-only product can never be made if the materials and finishes are ordinary”. The brand meets every detail of their customer’s orders: not just the sizes, but also the selection of materials and finishes, textures, and the type of woods and leather used. By utilizing the brand’s selections of material and power of design, the ordered item will have the beautiful proportion and elegance of PHILIPPE HUREL. Furniture wrapped with the brand’s worldview continues to attract many hearts.
One of the most important factors in achieving the brands ideology is its knowledge of wood and the technology to maximize the texture of wooden materials. The texture of the brand’s furniture stands out because of the simplicity of the design; in particular, its uzukuri is of supreme excellence. PHILIPPE HUREL has developed its own technique, achieving the finest and most beautiful wood grain with the deepest expression.


S Residencce

The S residence is a 2-story above-ground wooden building that stands upon a flag-shaped parcel of land in Kamakura, Kanagawa. The owner wanted a house with a courtyard. Taking this request under consideration, architect Akira Hikone planned a 3m by 2.15m courtyard at the center of the first floor. Despite the home being made of wood, the use of the SE method of construction gave the living room an open ceiling, achieving a space that expands via the courtyard.
On the other hand, a home such as this one, with a courtyard at its center and an open ceiling room, has restrictions with regard to layout and thus requires careful planning. Hikone positioned the living room, dining room, and kitchen to face each other with the courtyard in the middle, making sure the spaces were loosely zoned so they maintained a connected feeling. He also designed a circular flow path around the courtyard that includes the wet area and study room, a shoe closet beside the entrance, and a pantry beside the kitchen. The second floor consists of mainly private rooms. Due to the owner husband taking a shower as soon as he gets up, Hikone planned the main bedroom, walk-through closet, wet area and shower booth in a straight line. He also secured a space beside the window that can be hidden with the sliding door allowing laundry to be hung without being noticed. In this way, a comfortable yet functional home with a courtyard in its center was built.



Making full use of the properties of plastic, Kartell is an Italian interior brand creating avant-garde and functional products. The brand was established in Lombardy, Italy, by former chemical engineer Giulio Castelli. In the beginning, the brand’s main products were parts of cars and illuminations. The brand then began using processing technology and to make plastic furniture. By developing a technology to produce products using a single material and single mold, it was able to mass-produce, achieving high quality and functional products at reasonable price.
The brand continued creating amazing products by collaborating with energetic designers such as Philippe Starck and Marcel Wanders. The brand’s products are also functional; they are weather resistant, so can be used outdoors and stacked. Kartell maintains the quality of its products not only by selecting materials with integrity, but also by challenging new manufacturing technologies. The brand is therefore a leading plastic furniture maker worldwide. In Oct. 2016, flagship shops opened in Minami Aoyama, Tokyo and Nagoya, Aichi. “A shop where one can feel the world view of Kartell, wherever one is in the world” is what the current CEO, Claudio Luti aims for. There will be total of 10 shops opening in Japan by 2017.




CARL HANSEN & SØN has created the “Y Chair” and multiple other furniture masterpieces that bring the brand’s historic woodwork craftsmanship into the modern world. The brand was established in 1908, and started as an atelier that made classical chairs for the upper class in Odense, Denmark. 1949 became a great turning point for the brand, when yet unknown designer Hans J. Wegner designed prototypes for 4 chairs, one of which was the "Y Chair". Since its establishment, all the products of the brand are made in the brand's own factory in Denmark. The brand is able to maintain its quality due to the approximately 300 craftsmen it employs. In 2011, the brand placed Rud. Rasmussen, the long established furniture brand of Denmark, under its umbrella, reproducing the prominent designer's works.
The brand opened its showroom in Milan, Italy in 2016. The building was built at the end of 19th century and the space utilizes the unique texture of the existing walls. The new lounge chair "E015" designed by EOOS and The "Y Chair" are displayed, and showcase the appeal of the brand's simple and universal furniture. It also released "WOOLINES", its first rug collection. One cannot help but be interested in this brand that continues to take on new challenges with its craftsmanship.


About 2017年01月

2017年01月にブログ「I'm home (NEWS / ENGLISH)」に投稿されたすべてのエントリーです。新しい順に並んでいます。




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