Facade reminiscent of noren wavering in the wind

Ryogoku Yuya Edoyu is a spa facility facing Hokusai Street, located between the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the Sumida Hokusai Museum. We designed an annex to the existing public bathhouse. Our addition increased the total floor space of the facility twofold. We furthermore completely renovated the facility while keeping a certain portion of the existing interior intact.
While staying true to Hokusai’s world, in our design, we also tried to emphasize the concept of the word “yu (遊)” in Edo-yu, which means “freely wandering and enjoying.” Our design thus allows the facility’s visitors to enjoy the experience of wandering through various “nooks of comfort” created throughout the bathhouse.
Our facade design seeks to recall the image of fresh, whitish grey bathhouse noren (split curtains hung outside the bathhouse entrance) wavering refreshingly in the wind. Aluminum panels punctured with an Edo komon pattern (Hokusai loved komon patterns, which are intricate dye patterns that were popular during the Edo period) contain vertical slits that blur the joint between the new annex and the existing building, making the two buildings appear as a unified whole. The seigaiha pattern (depicting waves in the blue ocean) pierced in the facade gradually disappears as it nears the upper floors of the building, representing the refined tastes of the people of the Edo period, for whom the intricateness of these patterns was a source of competition (for the more intricate the pattern, the more skilled the artisans that lords had). By connecting an urban scale with the more human scale of passing under a noren, we dynamically represent the experience of moving from the modern city to the Edoyu world.
The annex is designed with no columns or beams, through the use of an RC thick wall and floor structure. We designed small spaces through the use of bathtubs, furniture, finishing materials, ceilings, and differences in lighting environments – all so that they would form a continuous sequence. This allowed us to create a layered landscape upon which a maximum of 400 visitors can all enjoy and find their very own nooks of comfort.
For the women’s bath, we wanted to create a space of baths floating in the clouds. Starting with the kakeyu (water poured on oneself before entering the bath) to the high-concentration carbonated bath to the jet bath to the water bath, we designed the bathtubs in unique cloud shapes at different heights so that visitors can wander and enjoy the various styles of the baths. The cloud-like ceiling contains lighting and exhaust vents.
Spaces with varying functions, such as a rest area composed of four different sections, a hot stone spa & salon treatment area, and a co-working space called “yu work” (“yu (湯)” means bath) in the old building that keeps the image of the former spa intact, were all designed around a central luminous ceiling and connected through a staggered passageway.
While our inspiration derives from Hokusai’s world, our goal was to construct the Edo world from a modern, or perhaps even near future, perspective.

Ryogoku Yuya Edoyu

spa/Sumida-Ku, Tokyo Kamezawa 1-5-8

Use : Spa
Building site : Ryogoku,Tokyo
Completion : June 2019
Total floor area :3,620㎡
Photo : Koji Fujii/Nacasa and Partners Inc.