Completed in June 2019 by Kubo Tsushima Architects, Ryogoku Yuya Edoyu is a project of spa facility in Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan. The architect designs an annex to the existing public bathhouse to increase the total floor space of the facility twofold. With 3,620 m2 in size, the goal of this project is to construct the Edo world from a modern perspective with an inspiration derives from Hokusai’s world.
This spa facility is facing Hokusai Street, located in between the Edo-Tokyo Museum and the Sumida Hokusai Museum. Besides the addition, the architect also renovates the facility completely while keeping some parts of the existing interior. An annex is designed to the existing public bathhouse in this project.
In the design, the architect tries to emphasize the concept of the word “yu (遊)” in Edo-yu which means “freely wandering and enjoying” while staying true to the wold of Hokusai. This design allows visitors to enjoy the wandering experience through the various comforts in the bathhouse.
The design of the facade seeks to recall the fresh image, whitish-grey bathhouse noren that wavering refreshingly in the wind. Noren is split curtains hung outside the bathhouse entrance. Punctured with an Edo komon pattern, the aluminum panels vertical slits that blur the joint between the existing building and the new annex.
The seigaiha pattern represents the refined tastes of the people of the Edo period. This pattern is pierced in the facade, gradually disappears as it nears the upper floors of the building. An urban scale is connected with the more human scale of passing under a noren to represent the moving experience from the modern city to the Edoyu world.
Through the use of an RC thick wall and floor structure, the annex has no beams or columns. Small spaces are designed through the use of ceilings, finishing materials, furniture, bathtubs, and differences in lighting environments. This way allows the architect to create a layered landscape where the visitors can find and enjoy their own nooks of comfort.
A space of baths floating in the clouds is created for the women’s bath with the bathtubs in unique cloud shapes and different heights. There is also a cloud-like ceiling that contains exhaust vents and lighting. Some spaces with varying functions are designed around a central luminous ceiling and also connected through a staggered passageway.
Ryogoku Yuya Edoyu Gallery
Photographer: Koji Fujii/Nacasa and Partners Inc.