In the Japanese city of Fukuoka, architecture studio a-um have refurbished a traditional sake brewery and built an extension on the old complex. Their aim was to create more space for new facilities that enhance the process of making the traditional Japanese rice wine.
Throughout the design process, the functionality of the new construction was as important to the client as the visual outcome. The newly-added complex is covered with a concrete texture on both the outside and the inside. As solar radiation harms the sake production process, most of the buildings have no windows. The traditional complex is known for its triangular overlapping roof shape, so the intention was to equip the new construction with the same silhouette, interpreted in a modern way. “The new and the old are structurally disconnected while its function connect the entire space as one complex,” explain the architects. At the site, the majority of existing buildings appear very traditional, with the oldest facility having stood there for over 100 years. Taking this into account, the new extensions were designed to bring modern flair to the iconic structure, without taking away the charm that remains from ancient times.