「DRASTIC RENOVATION」Shirakawa Residence
Ogaki city is situated in the southwest part of Gifu prefecture of the Tokai district. The Shirakawa residence stands in the residential area close to the center of that city.
About 10 years ago, the owner found this 70 to 80-year-old building (which used to be a dressmaking school) while commuting, and was mesmerized by it. Then, she decided to retire. She herself painted the walls and laid out tiles and completed a specialized store for pasta and cheesecakes. After that, she opened another specialized store for quiches and soup in the space next to the first shop. This third renovation is to have a separate building for a residence and to renovate the part of the building which hasn't been used for a long time into an annex. The owner asked architect Keiichi Irie to design this renovation.
About 4 years ago, the owner visited an antique shop in Kyoto to look for a stool to put it in the shop and by accident, she found her favorite door. Since then, it took her about 3 years to collect 13 doors. Irie expanded his imagination based on those doors. He made the residential area as simple as possible to make those fixtures and nostalgic furnishings received from the previous owner look their best. Simultaneously, Irie utilized the unused outside spaces around buildings and newly established three courtyards. The opening of the room facing the courtyard was glassed-in for the whole wall so that one can view the greens from anywhere, creating a wide-open atmosphere. On the other hand, an annex was left with the existing layout plan and pillars and beams were reinforced with iron frames, keeping its original image intact.