Suto-Suien by BABID

BABID have been shortlisted for Living Space – Global Award in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2020.

The main theme of the renovation was to create a large Living room, Dining room and Kitchen for a party space by merging small rooms and narrow corridors.

The house was well built retaining many original features with unique and highly skilled craftsmanship, which are hard to be repeated by current techniques. The other areas such as bedrooms, front sitting room and bath suite also needed to be upgraded.


The family has a large number of Japanese fine arts collections, which needed to be integrated into the design with Noriko’ s art direction, who is also a curator. The colour scheme direction was to create a vivid contrast of blue and gold. This was done by using soft furnishings and woodwork. Original woodwork such as Shoji screen and special wood curves were retained and washed by a traditional wood-washing method to revive original golden wooden colour.


The challenge was to integrate contemporary artworks and craftsmanship into traditional Japanese framework, which Noriko proud of completing successfully. The brief was that all material must be natural and traditional; e.g. woodwork, plaster wall, tatami floor and paperwork on sliding doors. By using traditional technique and natural products, a sustainable design and renovation has been completed.

A very well-balanced space has been created, where you can enjoy beautiful views with layers of the area from any angle. The design works well as through creating a large living dining and kitchen area to property flows better and allows use for all spaces whereas before some rooms were unused. The property is now also the perfect entertaining space.


The original house reflects traditional regional style, which was retained and improved with traditional carpentry work, artisan and craftsmanship. The designer introduced locally produced wood from Atami-City and Shizuoka prefecture, directly purchased from woodcutters. Tatami mattress was made with woven washi paper and all made in Japan. The traditional method is diminishing in the Japanese house construction industry. Although traditional house and craftmanship was used the designer was still able to achieve a comfortable and luxurious contemporary design.


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