Warehouse of Time - Preservation on the Bank of Honjo

The original 1896 brick warehouse became a heritage listed building, and a preservation and renovation project was planned to transform it into a community centre for the city of Honjo. The architects aimed to reconstruct history by filling in the infrastructural gaps of the existing building. FT Architects describe the traces left by previous renovations “not as defects, but as the representation of the accumulations of the past.” The result is a functioning industrial heritage site where pragmatic choices were made about reconstruction, but the spirit of the original building remains.



The 9m x 36m column-free space was achieved with the use of a king post and truss apex. The window fittings were designed to ventilate the space and control humidity -- according to FT Architects, the first time in history that a Japanese brick building successfully adopted these western architectural strategies. Due to several prior renovations and a lack of detailed architectural drawings, it was necessary to perform extensive research on the site prior to the renovations. The original brick wall and timber truss were found to be structurally sound, but the yield strength on one side of the building was insufficient. It was necessary to conduct seismic reinforcement of the building without interfering as much as possible with the existing masonry and truss. It was also a priority to the architects that the spatial design represented the building’s history.

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