2008 Bungoro Warehouse photos text ( JP|EN )

Bungoro Warehouse is a renovated warehouse. It was originally built 50 years ago and has been owned by a pottery family in Shgaraki, Japan. This project required that the warehouse should be remade into galleries for exhibiting its stored items and a lecture room that would promote the local ceramic products, while maintaining its original function as storage.
The object of the renovation is to activate the local area. Shigaraki, one of the most famous towns in Japan for pottery since 15th century, is so rapidly deteriorating as many other traditional productive towns, that most of its traditional or modern production facilities are turning to relics of the past. We aim to rediscover and re-realize them as new elements constituting the future of this pottery town.
Since opening, Bungoro Warehouse has had a variety of exhibitions and lectures of sculpture, photography, ceramics, installations and contemporary art as well as the works of their successive craftsmen. It also is used as one of the venues for an art festival in Shigaraki. Though it is a private facility, Bungoro Warehouse offers open communication space, making a steady contribution to activation.
This warehouse has reinforced concrete structure, which was rarely seen in Shigaraki at that time. Its concrete walls have expressive wood-grained texture stamped by cedar formwork panels, and still have some mud marks, which are symbolic evidences of their predecessors’ handicraft work for the past four generations. We decided to leave these characteristics as they were. Our basic policy of renovating was to give partial "patchwork repair" with mortar and plaster only to its degraded parts.
To collect and recycle rainwater, we have settled by the building a huge ceramic pot made by one of the client familes long before. By making the best of natural resource and the pot they already had, not only can we save energy, but also we got maximum effect for minimal construction work.
To prolong the lifetime of their long beloved warehouse, we made a number of local patching with mortar and plastering, instead of reinforcing the entire building. It will prevent further damage and neutralization of concrete. By doing this we also have attained much higher energy efficiency in construction work. This patchwork-like repair is visually so appealing that it has resulted in giving new value to this building, along with preserving the existing texture.
The interior walls also were given the patchwork-like repair. Concrete defects such as cold joints and voids were fixed with plaster patches, whose size and shape are similar to the impression of cedar formwork left on the walls. The layout of these patches is not intentional but just visualizes the defect distribution. The exhibition space, surrounded by this patchwork against the background of aging walls and ceiling, proves to be quite an exciting one that requires more active commitment to space of its users.
The warehouse originally has three rooms. The west one is a showroom of the client family and the others are galleries, one of which can also serve as a lecture room. We newly set up three doors of similar appearance to the repaired walls so as to shade items from sunlight, to make it possible to project images over the walls, and to change the appearance and atmosphere. These doors have rectangular shape similar to the patches on the walls. So the doors can be regarded as a kind of patch put to existing space. We looked on these needed reformation as an extension of “patchwork repair”. The “patchwork repair ” doesn’t interrupt their temporal continuity.
We hope Bungoro Warehouse itself will be a patch to repair Sigaraki, and be a piece constituting the future of this pottery town.

Architect: Katsunobu Tasho and Atsushi Ueda(katsunobu tasho architecture+un voice)
General Direction: Toshio Matsui,Atsushi Ueda
Graphic design: Ryota Yagi
Furniture:Mayu Koyama
General contractor:Asahi Home co.,ltd