Before & after: Run-down factory to residential building

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Today's before and after project leads us to Osaka, Japan. Here, an old factory building was converted into a cosy residential property. Now, nobody is working in this five story commercial building; instead, it's all about relaxation, with a tea room offering the perfect spot to unwind. The expert name behind this impressive transformation is Japanese Architecture company TOFU. The firm have combined the typical Japanese style of living with elements of Western design. To see exactly how this was achieved, take a look at the following images:

After: Kitchen and dining area

  by TOFU
TOFU

O-RENOVATION

TOFU

The grubby carpet and the cold lighting are gone! In their place you can find recessed LED lights and two different floor coverings, visually dividing the open living space in to two distinct areas. The dining area is demarcated by wooden parquet, while beige-brown patterned linoleum has been chosen for the kitchen. A white fitted kitchen and white cupboards and shelves create order and make the room look bigger and brighter.

After: Kitchen and dining area

modern Houses by TOFU
TOFU

LDK

TOFU

The grubby carpet and the cold lighting are gone! In their place you can find recessed LED lights and two different floor coverings, visually dividing the open living space in to two distinct areas. The dining area is demarcated by wooden parquet, while beige-brown patterned linoleum has been chosen for the kitchen. A white fitted kitchen and white cupboards and shelves create order and make the room look bigger and brighter.

View of the living room

modern Houses by TOFU
TOFU

LDK

TOFU

The high standard of the renovation is apparent from every perspective. Here, we look from the kitchen through to the living room. Wooden furniture and a grey sofa create a mellow and laid back ambience. The hanging lantern is an original touch that complements the neutral décor. Plenty of light pours through the large window, in front of which sits the couch: this practical arrangement is ideal for reading in comfort.

The tea room before

  by TOFU
TOFU

O-RENOVATION

TOFU

It's hard to believe that this dull room was soon to be a traditional style Japanese tea room. The tea ceremony in Japanese culture continues to be of great importance. The centuries-old tradition goes back to Chinese origin and was made popular by Buddhist monks and Japanese emperors. Even today, the tea ritual enjoys great popularity. Of course, such a special ceremony steeped in history should never be held in such a space like this. Rest, relaxation and conviviality wouldn't flourish in this space, even with litres of tea and 'wagashi' sweets.  It's clear that there had to be a radical change before this room was fit for purpose.

The tea room afterwards

modern Houses by TOFU
TOFU

茶室と庭

TOFU

Thankfully, after the renovation, there is no hint of the desolate state of the previous interior remaining. We find ourselves in a real Japanese style tea room. The small window with sliding panel creates a connection with the outside world whilst ensuring privacy is respected. The discreet décor is calming and creates a relaxing atmosphere. The artistic calligraphy on the wall and some classic black furniture create the perfect overall effect. 

Preparation area

modern Houses by TOFU
TOFU

茶室+アトリエ

TOFU

Directly adjacent to the tea room is a small work area in which the tea is prepared. Glazed sliding doors provide plenty of natural light to the long room, and bring some nature into the interior of the house.

Kitchen island

modern Houses by TOFU
TOFU

アトリエ

TOFU

To take full advantage of the available space, a centrally positioned kitchen island was chosen. Here, several people can prepare the tea ceremony at the same time. Due to the well thought out layout, the kitchen island can be accessed from both sides, still leaving space for a functional and attractive shelving unit. 

To keep the whole room light and bright, a line of light bulbs have been mounted on the ceiling in two strips. The worktop of the kitchen island is made of wood, which warms up the otherwise largely white room.

View from outside

modern Houses by TOFU
TOFU

エントランス

TOFU

You can see from this image just how harmoniously the different areas fit together to form a unit. Even from the outside, the interiors look inviting and pleasant. This has been an undeniably successful renovation project! 

If you found this project interesting, you'll enjoy reading about the following properties:

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What do you think of the transformation? We look forward to your comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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