レンガ倉庫の隠れ家 -時の継承- Hiding Place in Brick Storehouse -Inheritance of time-

This is a private residence built in the center of Mihara City, Hiroshima Prefecture. We affectionately refer to this residence as our "hideout.  
The hiding place is a new building, and that new building has found a home in a quaint brick warehouse. The history of this brick warehouse dates back to the war years. It was originally used as a fuel storage warehouse. Later, it functioned as a workplace for the current client's father, and will continue to function over time with the house inside. The old brick warehouse is historically valuable, and it is not feasible today to build it in the same way as it was then. ~We felt that it was necessary to preserve it. We felt it was necessary to keep this warehouse in existence. Fortunately, the client's wishes were met, and the "safe house" was realized.

The building (safe house) is a steel structure. It is located in the center of the wooden truss structure of the warehouse, and is surrounded by a four-sided passageway that circles the building. The building is steel-framed to protect the new living space in case the upper part of the old warehouse is destroyed by an earthquake. The living room, Japanese-style room, and sanitary room are arranged in one room. Corner separations are made by piling up blocks with a rustic look. All spaces have an open view to the outside of the building, i.e., to the brick wall. Since there is no need to be concerned about sight lines to the outside in normal life, a full glass wall is used. From inside the building, one can view the beautiful red brick at all times. In addition, skylights are installed to bring gentle natural light indoors while looking up at the beams of the old warehouse. Skylights and openings to the outdoors in the main body of the warehouse were connected to light and wind entrances to the new building. To harmonize with the beautiful bricks, the floor is made of environmentally friendly natural afzelia wood, finished with beeswax.

The warehouse is an indoor space, but it is also an outdoor space. Vine plants suitable for shade garden are planted randomly. It will be interesting to see how they grow naturally on the walls. The interior was planned with "depth to the inside" in mind. From the viewpoint of the effect of light, indirect lighting was positioned and a wood-burning stove was adopted. The stove's expression would suit the building, and above all, the flickering flames are beautiful. This space has a large viewing area against the brick and glass. The reflection of the lights and flames creates a variety of expressions.

The client's family has already started their new life here. The brick warehouse has begun to mark a new moment in time with the "home" inside.  
New things are attractive. When convenience and comfort are prioritized, sometimes the old must be eliminated. However, there are many cases where the old shines with overwhelming brilliance. Things that have stood the test of time emit a unique presence. It is an atmosphere that only something that has stood there for a long time can give off. 

The method of "imitating" old objects is often used in interior design. Why? Perhaps it is because old things have a simple expression. The simplicity of old things evokes a sense of nostalgia, and people are attracted to it. However, to be honest, it is not so easy to incorporate "unmistakably old things" into daily life. In fact, it is not so much a matter of "taking in" as it is a matter of "being taken in" that brings out its true value. This is because it is necessary to "match" the old with the new. 

If you think about living in an old building, the people who develop a new lifestyle are the newcomers. The history of the building is the history of the people who lived there, and the history of the land. The present exists because of the past. It is impossible to reverse the past and the present in the flow of time. Evolution is the product of the past and cannot be achieved without the passage of time. For this reason, I believe that we should not lack respect for the past, that is, the old, and I always want to be sincere in this respect as we engage in the work of architecture. It may be an exaggeration, but it is not too much to say that new things can be obtained in an instant. That is how advanced modern technology has become. That is why when we encounter something old, we should stop and think about it.

Our encounter with this brick warehouse has given us deep thought. From the first time we saw it, we wished for the "survival" of this warehouse. From there, the foundation for all of our considerations was laid. We wanted it to play another role without diminishing its unique charm.  
Thus, the "Brick Warehouse Hideout" was born and inherited its time.  
We are deeply grateful for the client's choice, and feel great significance in having been able to engage in this architectural project.


  • Completion 2013.04
  • Building site Mihara, Hiroshima
  • Principal use private residence
  • Structure Steel-framed, one-story building
  • Floor area 113.12㎡
  • Photo Toru Kitamura


  • 2013 DSA Design Space Award 空間デザイン賞2013
  • 2014 第2回家づくり大賞 一般投票部門 リノベーション賞