91-yr old condo-conversion in Tokyo blends old with new

Nestled down in a quiet and hidden location in Tokyo’s Hongo neighbourhood is a 91-year old building that was converted into condominium-type apartments several years ago, making it the oldest apartment conversion project in Japan.

The Kyudo Gakusha was built in 1926 as a student dormitory. It was designed by architect Goichi Takeda (1872-1938) and originally had 30 rooms, each about 10 sqm in size, as well as a common area with dining hall and library. The 3-storey building is one of Japan’s earliest reinforced concrete buildings.

The building fell into disrepair in the 1990s, with roof leaks causing serious damage to the 2nd and 3rd floors and rendering them unlivable. In the early 2000s, the owner had considered demolishing the historic building and replacing it with a block of studio apartments.

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