Washoku Itagaki Restaurant / Buttondesign

Architects: Buttondesign
Year: 2020
Photographs: Masao Nishikawa
Manufacturers: BEAL, Sugiyama Seisakusho Co., Ltd., Time&Style
Lead Architects: Yuzuru Murakami, Kohei Kikuta
Structural Engineer: Kotaro Maruyama
Lighting Designer: Masahiro Yoshioka
Landscape and Gardening: / en landscape design
Real Estate: Souzou-kei Real estate corporation
City: Adachi City
Country: Japan

The Former Itagaki Residence, a revitalization project of an old private house turned into a dining hub, designed by the local owner in Kita-Senju, Adachi-ku, Tokyo, aims to preserve the historical townscape while introducing contemporary functionality. Initiated before the COVID-19 disruptions in the summer of 2019, this endeavor transformed the 1938-built property into three distinct dining areas, officially opening in November 2020. The project restored the building but also aimed to reconnect the community, culminating in a blend of historical preservation and modern utility that strengthens communal bonds and reinvigorates the local economy.

Washoku itagaki restaurant / buttondesign

The initiative aims to rejuvenate an ancient private residence in Kita-Senju, Adachi-ku, Tokyo. The current owner’s commitment to conserving the local townscape prompted the transformation of an old private house, the “Former Itagaki Residence,” constructed in 1938, into a new ensemble of three distinct restaurant types. Initiated in the summer of 2019 before the disruptions brought on by the new coronavirus, this project was sparked by speculations that the former Itagaki Residence might be converted into an apartment complex.

The proprietor, a native of the area directly opposite the old Itagaki Residence and operator of a funeral service business since the Edo period, opted to safeguard the old house and repurpose it as a restaurant, motivated by the goal to “maintain the scenery of the town where he grew up.” From purchasing the property to the concept development of the restaurant, the design, real estate, and management teams held extensive discussions, and following 7 months of construction, the restaurant opened in November 2020.

The majority of the construction work involved the participation of local Kitasenju artisans, enhancing community awareness about the importance of preserving the townscape. Unquestionably, the restaurant’s current owner experienced mixed emotions about whether it was suitable to start a new restaurant business during the spread of the new coronavirus and while the project was progressing. Nevertheless, ongoing discussions revealed that his dedication extended beyond merely preserving the old Itagaki Residence; he was also intent on reestablishing community connections, driven by his desire to maintain a gathering place for the community.

Situated roughly a 15-minute walk from Kitasenju Station on the JR line, the former Itagaki Residence lies along the historic Nikko Kaido shopping street, leading directly to the Arakawa riverbed and intersecting with the old Mito Kaido. During the Edo period (1603-1867), it served as a bustling gateway to an inn town. Presently, although it scarcely retains the memories of that era, the area sees minimal foot traffic, primarily serving as a route to nearby homes and the riverbed, with no notable congregation of people. Concerned about this, the owner decided to establish a venue that would rejuvenate the town’s activity, once concentrated near the station, to encompass the entire town.

Washoku itagaki restaurant / buttondesign

In the revitalized Former Itagaki Residence, three establishments coexist: “Washoku Itagaki,” “TSUJI – Tea and Shaved Ice,” and “BAR – BA.” Alongside the traditional Japanese restaurant, a relaxed shaved ice cafe, “TSUJI – Tea and Shaved Ice,” is positioned in the front yard to welcome guests of all ages, and a bar, “BA – Place” in the backyard, periodically hosts silent theater events with headphones. This group of small enterprises is collectively referred to as “Itagaki, Tsuji, Place.” It is envisioned that this cluster will not merely be a large commercial complex but a collection of small shops that will foster a mix of residential and commercial uses, catalyzing the revitalization of a lively community in the city.

Washoku itagaki restaurant / buttondesign
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address: 5 Chome-6-7 Senju, Adachi City, Tokyo 120-0034, Japan

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