FabCafe Kyoto / MTRL KYOTO by Fumihiko Sano Studio

Address: MTRL KYOTO 3rd floor, 554 Motoshiogama-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Program: Office
Construction: Kansai Reform Lab / Hiakuma inc.
Floor area: 386.05㎡
Completion: 09/2019
Photographer: Nobutada Omote/ Yosuke Tanaka

Design firm: Fumihiko Sano Studio
For project inquiry: info@fumihikosano.jp
For press inquiry: press@fumihikosano.jp

Located down a street off Kawaramachi-Gojo in Kyoto, the pre-existing structure is a 120-year-old pseudo-Western-designed wood building. After being used as a print shop and furniture store over several decades, the house was planned to be renovated to a co-working space called MATERIAL KYOTO. The renovation focused on creating a space that would allow people to work comfortably in a fixed space.

One of the purposes for renovating the original structure was to embrace the original charm of the old architecture. The transformed house needed to merge seamlessly with the city of Kyoto to create a familiar feel as people would walk by the building. This thought was visualized by a newly built facade at the entrance. Walking underneath the steel plate roof to the garden can give a traditional alleyway feeling which can be experienced throughout the older neighborhoods of Kyoto.

Japanese traditional latticework on the ground floor illustrates designs of traditional Kyoto architecture design while enabling visitors to see through the inside. Layering fixed glass windows around the latticework successfully integrates both old and modern styles.

Steel footings used for the exterior wall were repurposed as a part of the facade on the first floor, making it possible to have a great view of Jyotokuji Temple from the balcony. The alteration to the exterior allowed for the use of a scenic point and allowed for the repurposing of historical materials.

The first and second floors function as co-working spaces. Inside, there is an irregular-shaped table and variously placed chairs that allow for the movement of the person to constantly change so that a different space experience is made depending on the seating location. There are two large displays for presentations and conferences, prototyping spaces to create with various materials purchased independently by the user, and various machines such as 3D printers and laser cutters.

Modern building materials like black punching metal and acrylic furniture are utilized in conjecture with traditional materials like brick, plaster finished black wall, solid wood furniture, woven fabrics, or pillars from Hida Furukawa city which the client specifically desired in the renovation.

On the third floor, space is separated into four areas: a wall-mounted desk for concentrating on individual work, a ring-shaped counter for communication with others, a whiteboard space for meetings, and a storage area. The counter is designed by shifting the ring-shaped tables and changing the height to a separate computer and manual work. The circular shape allows for communication with others on the inside and outside of the ring. The center of the ring serves as an observation point for the entirety of the room.

The mixture of traditional and modern materials in this 120-year-old building creates an open space for people to have imaginative and creative experiences.

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