Value on Traditional Machiya Building
Anggraini, Lya Dewi
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The traditional machiya (townhouse) building in Japan has become popular throughout the world as well-maintained buildings found in almost every town in Japan; in contrast to contemporary and high rise buildings that were greatly constructed. The traditional machiya buildings are many in Kyoto, a historical and cultural city where it once rolled as a capital city in the Heian period of Japan (794-1185 AD). This city is the only grid-planned city in Japan with old castles and many temples as well as traditional machiya buildings. In the center of the city are still many remaining machiya. Surrounded by new and tall buildings that dominate the main streets, these well-managed machiya buildings are eye-catching. Some districts are specified as preservation areas for machiya that become popular tourist spots. In Sasayama, another historical and vernacular town still in Honshu, the main island of Japan, traditional machiya buildings still exist and are also well maintained. Besides the regulations implied by government upon these traditional machiya since the old times of Japan, many hard times such as wars and fire destructions had shaped machiya into current characters. These machiya buildings are also believed to having distinguished features as responds to their environment. Thus, these traditional machiya buildings are considered as having value needs to discover. What value machiya as vernacular building has through the characters displayed in the facades is what this study wants to conclude as the purpose of study. To recognize the character of its visual elements one should be able to identify the features of the object upon which the study is carried. By doing comparison in two particular areas in Kyoto and Sasayama, Japan, upon the characteristics of the visual elements of facade, this study results in the values of traditional machiya building. The values of humility, equity, simplicity, and popularity reside in the traditional machiya building and prove to be transcended through generations to the new buildings by having similar pattern or using the typical elements and the additional elements as traditional machiya building.