Kitchen of the Week: A Modern Space Thanks to a Traditional ‘Tsubo-Niwa’

Last week we wrote about Fraher & Findlay’s inspired update from a Georgian house. Today we are sharing their most recent project, a refurbishment of an old Victorian in Hackney, London, featuring a tsubo-niwa.

Tsubo is a unit of measurement equal to the area of ​​two tatami mats (approximately 3.3 square meters); niwa means garden. As a compound word it describes a small garden with courtyard – and this is precisely what was added to the property to connect a new rear addition to the original building.

Inserting a quintessentially Japanese element into a classic European home might seem like an odd shift, but it works one way or another – and nowhere is it more apparent than in the kitchen and dining room.

Let’s take a walk.

Photograph by Adam Scott, courtesy of Fraher & Findlay.

The kitchen and dining room are in the new rear extension of the house.  To the left (just beyond the glass door) is the small courtyard (or tsubo-niwa) & # 8
Above: The kitchen and dining room are in the new rear extension of the house. To the left (just beyond the glass door) is the small courtyard (or tsubo-niwa) “To help articulate a relationship between the existing house and the new architecture,” says Fraher & Findlay.
The cabinets were custom made by the woodworking experts at Oblique Furniture in London.  The marble used for the countertop and backsplash comes from J&R Marble.
Above: The cabinets were custom made by the woodworking experts at Oblique Furniture in London. The marble used for the countertop and backsplash comes from J&R Marble.
The back yard is on the other side of the kitchen, directly across from the tsubo-niwa.
Above: The backyard is on the other side of the kitchen, just in front of the tsubo-niwa.

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