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This is a project to revitalize an old private house in Kita-Senju, Adachi-ku, Tokyo. The current owner’s desire to preserve the townscape led to the renovation of an old private house, the “Former Itagaki Residence,” built in 1938, into a new cluster of three types of restaurants. The project began in the summer of 2019 before the confusion caused by the new coronavirus began. It was triggered by a rumor that the former Itagaki Residence might be transformed into an apartment building.

The current owner, who was born and raised right in front of the former Itagaki Residence and has been running a funeral service company here since the Edo period, decided to protect the old house and maintain it as a restaurant with the desire to “preserve the scenery of the town where he was born and raised. From the acquisition of the property to the conception of the restaurant, the design, real estate, and management teams engaged in repeated discussions, and after 7 months of construction, the restaurant opened in November 2020.

Most of the construction was carried out with the cooperation of local Kitasenju craftsmen, raising awareness as a community of the need to preserve the townscape. Needless to say, the current owner of the restaurant faced conflicting feelings about whether or not it was appropriate to start a new business as a restaurant at a time when the new coronavirus was spreading and the project was moving forward. However, what came to light during our ongoing dialogue with him was not only his desire to preserve the old Itagaki Residence but also his strong wish to restore the ties between the town and its people, saying, “I don’t want to lose a place where people can come together.”

The former Itagaki Residence is located about a 15-minute walk from Kitasenju Station on the JR line, along the old Nikko Kaido shopping street that leads straight to the Arakawa riverbed. It is also the intersection of the old Nikko Kaido and the old Mito Kaido, and in the Edo period (1603-1867), it was a busy entrance to an inn town. Today, although it barely retains the memory of that time, there are almost no stores or people passing by, and the road is only sparsely used as a path to nearby residences and the Arakawa riverbed. No gathering of people could be seen. As a long-time business owner in this area, the current owner was concerned about this situation and decided to create a store that would be suitable for this location in order to once again expand the bustle that had become limited to the area in front of the station to the entire town.

In the revitalized former Itagaki Residence, three stores, “Washoku Itagaki,” “TSUJI – Tea and Shaved Ice,” and “BAR – BA,” will coexist. In addition to the Japanese-style restaurant, which might otherwise seem intimidating, there is also a casual shaved ice cafe, “TSUJI – Tea and Shaved Ice,” in the front yard for people of all ages to enjoy, and a bar, “BA – Place” in the back yard that regularly hosts a silent theater with headphones on. This collection of small stores was named “Itagaki, Tsuji, Place.” We expect that this will not be a large commercial building but rather a cluster of small stores that will create a mix of residences and stores and will be a catalyst for the creation of a vibrant area in the city.

Architects: Buttondesign
Lead Architects: Yuzuru Murakami, Kohei Kikuta
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa


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