This 120-year old storehouse, aptly named the Rebirth House, survived the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake to be reborn as a stunning living space. Architect Ryo Matsui converted it into a holistic living and dining space adjacent to his client’s home in Ibaraki prefecture. Like so many other buildings that were wrecked and created anew after the devastating earthquake, the Rebirth House has held onto elements of the past.
Although, at first, the exterior appears like any old storehouse, step inside and the interior will take your breathe away. The house features a traditional Japanese kirizuma tiled roof, a delicate lacy mesh outer wall, and an impressive set of wooden doors. Inside, you will find a romantic brick-lined wine cellar, a large entertainment room with a wooden mezzanine floor, and you will feel a light wind that rustles through uniquely perforated window screens. Light will dance and flutter across the walls, projected through lacy screens, and you will be absolutely enchanted.
At night, the whole building changes, into a gently glowing structure. As evening approaches, windows that were invisible in the day finally illuminate themselves.
Rebuilt, this house highlights the myriad ways we can restore buildings that have been wrecked by natural disasters, and acts as a shining beacon for the future of restorative architecture. Matsui explains, “Inheriting from the old memory and the new behaviour, we hope [the Rebirth House will] become the house that can be loved from generation to generation.”
A beautifully lit cellar room, complete with a well seasoned selection of wines, supplies a more intimate setting for a dinner with friends or family. The brick-lined walls, remnants from the building’s reconstruction, keep the temperature even during all seasons.
Residents can sip a hot cup of matcha, or Japanese green tea, while enjoying the light projected through these unique windowscreens.
Pendant lights hang stylishly from raw wooden beams in this vaulted ceiling. Windows emerge asymmetrically along the walls, adding an element of fun to this austere atmosphere.