Old Japan meets modern office in this 100-year-old abandoned farmhouse in Tokushima Prefecture. Architect Issei Suma has inserted a self-supporting and watertight glass and steel structure into the old cow shed, keeping the original wooden architecture untouched, functioning as a beautiful rustic shell.
Suma designed a 40-square-meter glass and steel structure which will contain office spaces for an IT firm and made sure to include all the digital infrastructure necessary for daily operation. Even though it is located in a remote rural district, the office has all the amenities of the firm’s main office in Tokyo.
The structural framework, made up of steel I-beams, are left visible and accentuate the fact that the new structure is an addition. There is no attempt to mask or blend the old and new together. Instead, the steel structure is physically detached from the cowshed, and helps with the structural stability of the old structure simply by preventing it to collapse within itself. Because of the detachment, the employees don’t have to worry about leaky roofs, bad insulation or inefficient air conditioning.
Photos by Yasuyuki Deguchi