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Warehouse of Time www. Images:- Shigeo Ogawa

This architecture is a renovation of a brick warehouse built in 1896. It was designed and built 120 years ago by Shimizu-ten (currently one of the biggest construction companies in Japan) to storage cocoons, which were high-end products and uses the latest technology at that time. It could be seen in the high-quality bricks and laying of it, the large column-free space of 9m by 36m achieved by a king post truss and the window fittings that could ventilate and control humidity. This was the first time in Japanese history that a brick building achieved the same quality built in the western countries. Eventually it became a national listed building as a valuable industrial heritage and a preservation and renovation project was planned to transform it to a community center for the city of Honjo.

A preliminary research was conducted by a team of Waseda University across various fields, such as history, structure, material, urbanism and disaster management and several things became clear. The existing architecture’s brick wall and timber truss were still acting as structural elements even today, but the yield strength on the short side was insufficient. Another thing was that, there were no detailed drawings when it was completed existing and several renovations were conducted since it was privately owned. The information gained from the research were fragments due to the warehouse being 120 years old. However, it became a valuable clue to determine the direction of the renovation. Through the collaboration of this research team and us architects, 2 themes for this project were

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Refurb and restore issue 07 2017  
Refurb and restore issue 07 2017