When Hillsborough, California resident Sasaki Momoe decided to renovate her traditional ranch-style house, she chose to draw inspiration from her Japanese heritage.
“I like clean, simple lines,” she noted. “There are a lot of contemporary houses in urban Tokyo and everything is easy to maintain and easy to clean up.”
In particular, Momoe loved the contemporary look of concrete but weight was an issue. After consulting with Hayashida Architects, Berkeley, California. Momoe was given the perfect solution to make her vision come to life: Nichiha’s EmpireBlock™ panels.
An interesting twist to the renovation: EmpireBlock panels were used on both the interior and exterior of Momoe’s home as a decorative element. Sady Hayashida, owner of Hayashida Architects, found that Nichiha’s EmpireBlock was able to mimic concrete without the weight or price tag of the raw material. In both the interior and exterior of the house, Hayashida combined buffed wood with EmpireBlock panels to create an industrial chic look.
“We crafted a unique modern home and cut through it with a slice of Japanese fusion,” he explained. Momoe’s neighbors have been impressed too. “They were really interested in what the product was. At first they thought it was concrete,” she said. “[Our neighbors] said it’s amazing that it looked so real.”
Beyond the aesthetic features, the panels are a practical solution for durability and are thinner than traditional concrete. “If you look at the Tokyo urban area, they have very limited space,” said Momoe. “They use what they have to create the illusion of more space. Recently, contemporary design is a trend and that’s why people like it.”
With Nichiha, Hayashida and Momoe were able to bring their shared artistic visions to fruition. Hayashida, who is also Japanese, researched to find products for the project that authentically portrayed Japanese culture and architecture, with a modern feel. The result: one happy customer.
“I’m 100 percent satisfied with these panels,” said Momoe. “[They’re] exactly what I was looking for.”
“We crafted a unique modern home and cut through it with a slice of Japanese fusion.”
Sasaki Momoe wanted to transform her ranch-style home to reflect both contemporary and Japanese design. Momoe liked the look of concrete but needed to use a less heavy material that was more cost-efficient.
After much research, Hayashida Architects selected Nichiha’s EmpireBlock panels which reflected the industrial chic look desired by the client at a better price point.
EmpireBlock has given the homeowner the contemporary look she wanted with the added benefits of cost efficiency and durability.