Karl Bengs is a german architect with a passion for tradition japanese houses. More than twenty years ago he moved to the tiny japanese village of Takedokoro and began to salvage what remained of the abandoned houses in the area. He calls it the take-sho project:
His own house was the first startling renovation:
He infuses a strong japanese aesthetic with european details, modern conveniences, and a pretty spectacular color palette. The structures are old and new all at once.
In addition to updating the dwellings, he has become an integral part of the community: organizing events, cleaning up the town, reviving lost traditions. He's reinvigorated the area, attracting new residents and giving the indigenous population pride in where they come from.
There are very few photos of his work online, outside of his own website (which is a bit complicated to navigate). Nina Pope was able to get some shots while visiting Takedokoro in 2006, and was kind enough to post them on flickr for the internet to enjoy. All the nice clear photos above were taken from her stream.