Location: Jyoge-cho, Fuchu-shi, Hiroshima Prefecture
Principal use: archives museum
Construction type: newly-built
Total floor area: 712.00㎡
Number of stories: 2 stories
The History and Culture Center of Jyoge Town occupies an historical building which has seen many uses during its hundred years of existence. Originally constructed as a traditional house around 1900, it was subsequently converted for use as a complex of shops, an agricultural store and a hospital as the Twentieth Century progressed. Jyoge Town, sited on the slopes of the Chugoku Mountains in Fuchu City, Hiroshima, enjoys a long history and during the Edo Period prospered as a government staging post. The building itself is a local historical landmark, but due to its dilapidated condition, it was on the verge of sale and demolition. Fortunately, it was preserved from this fate by a volunteer group. It was decided to restore and redevelop the building as a history and culture center, serving as a focus for the town’s historical literature collection.
Restoration of the dilapidated building was extremely difficult. The original facade had to be supported while the inside was reconstructed. The new structure now supports the old facade. The modern interior is given presence on the street through the insertion of a modern box-like form, which punctures through the original facade and houses an exhibition space. This device allows consistency of design to permeate the building, linking the renovated interior to the modern outside world. Successfully renovating an existing building for modern use is unusual in Japan, where today dilapidated buildings tend to be demolished and replaced. However, in this era of sustainability, the importance of recycling buildings is becoming recognized. This approach seems particularly appropriate in terms of this buildings history of conversion and re-use, and just as importantly, preserves a unique local historical landmark.