Schemata Architects was established by Jo Nagasaka in 1998 after he graduated from Tokyo University Of Arts. This firm, based in Tokyo, Japan, deals with various Residential and Commercial Projects. Jo Nagasaka’s expertise ranges widely from furniture design, detailing to architectural design. He has extensively worked and renovated various structures into spectacular spaces. 

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With a distinct style and vision, his architecture is expressive of its intent. Here are 10 projects by Schemata Architects / Jo Nagasaka you should know about:

1. Nakamata: Maebashi Design Project

Location: Gunma, Japan
Year: 2018
Function: Confectionery Store
Site Area: 108.32 sq m
Built Area: 33.82 sq m

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Nakamata store_©Schemata Architects
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Void left for Public space_©Schemata Architects

Nakamata project in Japan is a Japanese confectionery store designed by Architect Jo Nagasaka in collaboration with Maebashi Machinaka, which was completed in 2018. Initially, as a two-story shoe store and residence, this site was cramped with buildings on both sides. These existing buildings were demolished with an idea to build new spaces reinventing the character of the shopping street too. There has been an increasing threat of shopping streets turning into “shutter streets”, to prevent it this attempt was instrumental in changing the way people engage with this shopping street. 

Being a confectionery store, there was no requirement for space to be dedicated for seating, hence the shop area was limited and the rest of the excess area was used for the city and people. This excess area serves as a void that also acts as a reduction in the volume and gives spatial depth to the whole perception of the street.

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Three adjoining plots_©Schemata Architects
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Seating space for customers around the store_© Schemata Architects

2. T-HOUSE: New Balance

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2020
Function: Store, Gallery, Office
Built Area: 123.08 sq m

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Old Japanese House Source_©Kazunori Iwata
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Old Door reused for the new space_©Schemata Architects

T-House by Jo Nagasaka was designed with a purpose to take the brand forward, this initiative is an extended space for New Balance’s Energy Project. The idea was to dismantle an existing “Kura” (Japanese traditional warehouse) in Kawagoe and reuse the wooden members, frame for the new space. The designers involved in the project cleverly combined the wooden frame and the function of the gallery, in a way that served both the purpose and the client’s requirements. 

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Old Wooden frame reused for displays_© Schemata Architects
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Old Wooden frame reused for displays_© Schemata Architects

3. Toy’s Factory

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2018
Function: Office
Built Area: 558.89 sq m

This office space is designed for a music label, spanning to an entire floor of the building. The floor incorporates windows on all sides, making it an ideal space with exposure as well as light ventilation. Jo Nagasaka’s design works around this benefit of fenestrations on the facade, wherein the spaces like meeting room, storage, and cafe are planned inside the central core. 

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Other functions like offices, lounge, artist’s rooms are planned around the core, establishing a connection between core, related spaces, and external periphery of windows. This forms a free-flowing and lively peripheral space.

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Staff and working spaces at the open periphery_© Schemata Architects
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Staff and working spaces at the open periphery_© Schemata Architects

4. Lim Loji

Location: Osaka, Japan
Year: 2021
Function: Hair Salon
Built Area: 563 sq m

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Salon space_© Schemata Architects
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Movable mirrors for multipurpose space_©Schemata Architects

This project serves as a Hair salon for the brand LIM (Less is More) and hence the client insisted on the same as a concept. Jo Nagasaka hence used this ideology to “maximize the minimum necessity” and renovated this existing space into a functional yet minimal space. 

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With a low budget, they used readymade steel racks for their use, with large movable spanning mirrors; it acts as a flexible element. This flexibility allows the space to be transformed into a large hall for flea markets and exhibits when required. This space allows young stylists to work and provides services at a low cost and acts as a platform for beginners.

5. HAPPA HOTEL

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2009
Function: Exhibition

Happa was a combination of offices and galleries, which was later converted to a Hotel for a temporary purpose. This gave the users, visitors an opportunity to mould the space in a way they normally wouldn’t encounter. This open thought led to various small changes in the spaces right from the kitchen to the lounge and redefined functionality. 

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“This project put forward an important viewpoint for considering the future of the city of Tokyo, that deliberate “misuse” of spaces let us recognize their alternative values,” say Schemata Architects.

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Adapting the space according to the need_© Schemata Architects
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Adapting the space according to the need_© Schemata Architects

6. Portable 

Location: Korea
Year: 2020
Function: Shop
Built Area: 298 sq m

This project by Jo Nagasaka at Jeju island functions as a store with sports equipment, rental cycle service, and other related products. Considering the size of Jeju island and active tourism, this store offers folded bikes on a rental basis. To multi-use this space, they designed a hanger provision to hang bikes, in this way space below can be used for other activities like yoga and sports.

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Portable Store_©Schemata Architects
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Portable Store_©Schemata Architects

7. HOJO SANCI

Location: Kanagawa, Japan
Year: 2018
Function: Residence with office
Site Area: 457.43 sq m
Built Area: 267.54 sq m

Initially, a traditional Japanese house was renovated into a Residence and office by Jo Nagasaka in Kamakura. The building plan is typical Japanese, where the rooms are planned outside, leaving an open interior space. The internal finishes and walls were retained while partially exposing the structure. Jo Nagasaka played with floor heights to express the difference in spatial character and functional zones.

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Workspace and residence_©Schemata Architects
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Workspace and residence_©Schemata Architects

8. Think Lab Shiodome

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2020
Function: Solo-Office
Built Area: 134.66 sq m

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The concept of this office space revolves around solo working, i.e., space is designed for a single user. It’s a contrast to the idea of coworking spaces where the nature of the activity is through teamwork and collaboration. It functions as a workplace for nomad workers for a temporary purpose or usage and helps them concentrate in an intimate as well as introvert setting. Space has a flexible character where the user can adjust the degree of openness of the work booth wall.

Solo working desks_© Schemata Architects
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Solo working desks_© Schemata Architects

9. Koganeyu

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2020
Function: Public bathhouse
Built Area: 1113.34 sq m

Sento is a Japanese public bathhouse that has been decreasing in number due to a lack of customers. Before people had private bathrooms in their houses, Sento acted as a place for people to interact, connect on the community level.
Schemata Architects renovated the existing bathhouse with the same intention for communities to unite. They kept the same sized baths, transformed the rest space into gathering space, and also added new spaces like a beer bar, sauna, and air bath. 

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Ancillary spaces, beer bar_© Schemata Architects
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Bathhouse_©Schemata Architects

10. Takahashi Hiroko Oshiage Studio

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Year: 2014
Function: Studio
Site Area: 219.21 sq m
Built Area: 140.85 sq m

Jo Nagasaka renovated an old steel factory building into a workspace for the artist Hiroko Takahashi. This space functions as a space for Hiroko Takahashi’s creative endeavours. The whole process from creative thinking, making, displaying to selling is perceived as an expression which is an important design consideration. This allowed the visitor to experience the creative process and the steps involved. 

The first-floor functions as an exhibition space, atelier, meeting room, and shop, while the second floor is the space for Kimono fitting, Rakogu (traditional Japanese comedy performance), and other activities. The third floor is Hiroko’s personal space with an office and a space to grow edible plants.

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Plant space_©Schemata Architects
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Kimono trial space_©Schemata Architects

Reference

Schemata .Works. [online].Available at: http://schemata.jp/about

Author

Madhuli is an architect, who believes in the power of influences from places, people, and experiences. Exploring perspectives in architecture and her purpose as an Architect, she is also an art enthusiast with a love for travel and photography.

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