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HASU 1515

A teahouse that never served tea...

An ancient house of joy, this "ochaya" (teahouse) is located in one of the five original "Hanamachi" (flower city) or geishas districts of Kyoto. It was known to serve other pleasures beyond tea. 

Today it is a guesthouse particularly appreciated for the quality of its facilities, which combine authentic traditional substance with contemporary architectural elements and comfort.

STDM has deployed all its know-how in terms of heritage renovation and qualitative functional and architectural contributions to this small object in order to project this traditional town house into 21st century Japan while preserving its original soul.

In Japan, whether in the city or outside, the "small traditional heritage" of housing districts is tending to disappear in favour of new westernized constructions under the pretext that the latter would better meet the needs for comfort and the aspirations for modernity of the current population. 

On the contrary, with its attention to detail, flexibility of use, free design, authenticity of materials, etc., STDM sees in traditional Japanese architecture the potential to recreate a contemporary architecture that truly meets the expectations of today's users: flexibility over time, modularity, circularity, healthy, renewable and sustainable materials, integrating acoustic and thermal qualities, etc. A local contemporary architecture directly derived from traditional principles.

This project is the first laboratory testing this approach through the program of a guest house for 10 travellers. The authentic character of this tea house is preserved while providing the comfort expected today in terms of equipment, space and thermal insulation.

The existing substances are restored to their authentic character. The denaturalisations that have occurred over time have been removed and the original structure has been restored.

Every new intervention has a resolutely contemporary character that contrasts gently and in dialogue with the tones and materials of the existing. 

In Japan, where debates on the consumption and production of energy are still in their infancy, any progress, albeit modest, in raising awareness of the importance of lower consumption of energy and raw materials, as well as the preservation of small heritage, is a significant step forward. 

STDM has concentrated its efforts on finding the best compromise between efficient thermal insulation and the conservation of existing structures, significantly improving user comfort. The equipment was chosen for its efficiency and low energy consumption.

The roof volume has been preserved as a buffer space to improve general thermal comfort.

If you are visiting Kyoto, the Ochaya HASU is the ideal drop-off point.

collaborator: P. Lacord