double machiya | shell and core

Workhome group:



Office/Study, Shop, Workshop/Studio, Consulting room, Domestic facilities, Public passing trade, Public appointment, Private, Home Dominated, Work Dominated, Equal Status, Live-with, Live-adjacent, Employees, No employees, Front and rear, Medium, Large

Machiyas are traditionally passed down in families from generation to generation, maintaining their working character. Nicknamed ‘eels’ bedrooms’ because of their long, thin plans, they incorporate miniature gardens at intervals in the depth of the building to provide natural light, ventilation and views out.

In this ‘double’ machiya the garden divides the house into two sections each of which can take on its own character. The shell and core design enables the space to be used flexibly. For example, a working family with teenage children might differentiate between the ‘noisy’ house at the front, which contains the children’s bedrooms and the main living/dining space, from the ‘quiet’ house at the back, which has a work room on the ground floor with the parents’ bedroom and a small sitting room on the first floor. The division might follow other patterns as the balance shifts between generations and between work and home. Service function such as kitchen, toilets, bathrooms, kitchen and wash-room all occupy a ‘core’ strip along the enclosing wall to the left. The separate entrance at the rear puts this type into the ‘live adjacent’ category.

A related type is the ‘single machiya’ with one garden.

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