House Hotel Project: Reclaiming the Old Nara Lifestyle from the Inside Out

2016.05.27


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Preserving Nara's traditional townhouses

Each region of Japan has always had its own traditional style of housing. Deeply rooted in regional customs, culture, and resources, these styles evolved into both a source of individuality and a comforting symbol of home for local residents. Today, however, examples of this tradition are growing scarcer as houses are rebuilt along more standardized lines or simply torn down due to age.

This trend represents a significant threat to regional diversity. The House Hotel Project, a collaboration between Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten and Kidera no Ie, aims to help the local housing styles of Nara, the ancient capital, continue to thrive into the future by developing a new role for them in the modern world.

Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten has been renowned for hand-spun, hand-woven hemp fabric in the traditional Nara style since 1716, and in recent years has turned its attention to the revitalization of traditional crafts all over Japan. Meanwhile, Kidera no ie specialize in renovating Nara houses in the classic "machiya" ("townhouse") style, built a hundred years ago or more, into accommodation for travelers.

 

Next page: "Phase 1: the 'Engawa no machiya'!"