How can architecture represent a culinary concept? The Edge of the Wood is an attempt to respond to this question. The owner, Inami Koro, an Udon restaurant in Miki City, is reinventing the traditional Japanese thick noodles dish while keeping the common techniques for preparation. The new building reflects their approach by revisiting the traditional Japanese wooden constructions.
While udon is believed to be introduced to the country during the Heian Era (8th, 12th century) the simplicity of its recipes and its nutritious values helped it surviving the ages and be almost the same dish today. Although Japanese architectural techniques and engineering have evolved during the last century and often needs highly skilled technician to execute them, the spaces serving udon kept the same aesthetics and graphic charter, wooden spaces, opaque walls, and an abundant wooden structure. Yet these spaces could be easily built by any Japanese carpenter.
Even for nowadays, most wooden residential architecture in Japan use the same “conventional construction methods”. The challenge was to employ the same techniques to build a space that looks completely new. Using these techniques guarantees two aspects. First, any constructor can make the building without any special advanced skills or technologies. The second point is to keep the price low, as low as basic housing prices. just a few adjustments were enough to gain a refreshing aspect of the building.
The main change was on the cross section of the general roof decking. The roof gradient and flat ceiling was reversed by rotating them around the eaves, making the roof almost flat, with only 3% slope for rain water evacuation. The result is a lighter roof shape while keeping enough space for the structural elements. The second change was to replace the dark wooden walls by frameless clear glass, providing more daylight inside the shop and contributing making the roof seem even lighter.
This project is the first part of the new urban development “Bessho Yume Kaido” planned by Miki City. Therefore, although the operation is private, the building is owned by the city, making it a public building. The project it self called for the creation of a Landmark, attracting the public to appropriate the place. For that end, the contour lines were simplified as much as possible, the details for water proofing the structure, and rainwater draining although looks simple and minimalist were the hardest part to design. The glass frame incorporated in the wooden pillars participate in the purification of lines converting the building to an icon. A glowing icon on evenings when the warm lights of the shop rays through the glazed façades, attracting people and giving the whole area a new visual identity.
Motoaki Takeuchi, Farid Ziani, Homare Hattori
Matsuya Art Works / KTX archiLAB
Established in 1976, Matsuya-Art-Works is a four decades experienced company acting in the architecture, design and construction industries. The company has a wide range of building types in the portfolio, though specialized in the commercial projects. Matsuya-Art-Works conducts projects according to the client’s business strategy and materializes it into an interior space or a completed building. Its mission is extended beyond the reception of the finalized project to guarantee a good functioning of the business. The KTX archiLAB was founded in 2006 to sustain this activity by producing high quality designs. The Japanese based company has received numerous local and international awards for its projects conducted both in Japan and foreign countries.