News

Adopt a traditional building with tea rooms! (4 options)

As you know, I am taking action to find an alternative location for a wooden structure temple in Osaka. The site is being developed and the building will be demolished unless it is transferred before then.
This story was spotted by a japanese woman who is trying to save the stunning beautiful japanese house of a relative near Enoshima (Tokyo area).

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The relative is elderly and cannot maintain the house anymore. It is about 479 sq.mt. of land in a prestigious residential area in Fujisawa (near Yokohama) so the price is quite high (about 140-150 million yen.)
In japan land has value while the building is totally devaluated after 25-30 years.
The problem is that it is difficult to get a return on the investment so the only thing that real estate agencies can propose is to demolish the building and garden and split the lot in commercially viable lots of 150 sq.mt. which can be easily sold at a high price.

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The building is 1 story high and a floor area of about 87 sq.mt. It was built 90 years ago and has been used as a school for tea ceremony for the past 20 years. It was built with selected materials and is in pristine conditions every nook and corner. It consists of 3 tea rooms.

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USAGE:

Option 1)
Of course it would be great if somebody is interested to buy it and use for tea ceremony, ikebana class or other traditional japanese art.
It is 4 Km (15 minutes by car) from Enoshima and the area will be flooded with tourists in view of the olympic games.

Option 2)
It can be used as a restaurant but not as a hotel (local regulations.)

Option 3)
It can be used as a residence by a real japan lover (but note it has no car-park and bathroom/shower so some work is needed)

Option 4)
If there is no buyer and they decide to demolish the building, I am looking for somebody interested in adopting it. The building can be dismantled and reassembled elsewhere.
As soon as we have more information about the temple project, I will be able to provide an estimate about the cost.

Please let me know if you are interested or know anybody who might…

All the Best//

iacopo torrini

increase of price for airfreight shipments

his is just a brief note about air shipping fares from Japan (I assume it is a generalized market adjustment worldwide).
All the forwarders we work with gave us the notice that the airfreight basic charges will increase 20% after december 1st. 2015.
Usually the fares go up before Christmas but 20% is a notable increase!

Again, it is a recurring pattern that the fares decrease after the holiday season is over but never go completely back to normal.
If you are considering purchasing a Bartok bath (especially kadomaru type) I recommend to finalize and order before 11/15.

I take this opportunity to announce that the Bartok design homepage is undergoing a renovation process and in december it will have an easier to use shop and booking section which will hopefully ease the matching between different clients shipping to similar locations and therefore allow considerable savings in the shipping charges.
Of course I will keep you updated on the progress.

Have a nice day// Sayonara~

More pics and floor plan of the Jo-Sho-Ji temple

The response to my previous mailing about the salvage of a wooden structure temple in Osaka was just overwhelming.
I am confident we will be able to find the right match for the structure and I will keep you posted with the progress of the transactions, site surveys and schedule.

Actually at the moment the keys of the hon-do (the main pavillion) are now in the hands of the Buddhist authority which is considering the application for the secularization of the building. The monk cannot let us inside in this phase, so the real estate agent passed me few more detailed pictures of the structure from the outside.

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The temple name is Jo-Sho-ji.
Here below is the street view of the site.

https://www.google.co.jp/maps/@34.6815783,135.4487177,3a,75y,9.19h,83.11t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sb7s0eoASaHsImXUR1wCQoQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1?hl=ja

Here below is a site plan showing the external dimensions (excluding the projection of the roof). The area highlighted in light blue is the hon-do (main hall)

SCHEDULE (tentative):

* 2015/11
Within the end of november I am planning to make a survey inside the building and ask a specialized company an estimate of the cost for dismantling the structure in such a way it can be rebuild without damage. I am planning to enquire Kongo-gumi which is specialized in the construction and maintenance of religious architecture since year 578 A.D. !!

As said earlier, the cost of the building itself, including the accessories is free of charge.
* 2015/12
Following, I will evaluate the cost of loading on containers, customs issues and shipping cost. I should be able to have clear data by the end of december.
* 2016/1
A couple of weeks should be enough to evaluate the feasibility of the project and the most suitable “foster family”.
* 2016/2
Time to carefully dismantle the structure as the D-day for the demolition is set for the end of the month.

Please refer to this blog for updates and additional details.

All the Best//

iacopo torrini

construction of sushi counter

update: see the pictures of the completed counter here:
http://www.bartokdesign.com/7-custom_ofuro/sushi-counter-for-hk.php

We are now building 2 hinoki wood counters. They will sit on top a marble counter and will have a stainless steel cladding towards the kitchen.
The substructure of the counter consists of blocks of AB and B grade hinoki laminated together.

We are now building 2 hinoki wood counters. They will sit on top a marble counter and will have a stainless steel cladding towards the kitchen.
The substructure of the counter consists of blocks of AB and B grade hinoki laminated together.

The corners are round so after laminating the necessary width, we used a jigsaw and trimmer to shape them.

Finally, we will apply a 7mm veneer on the top and front and a 3mm veneer on the curved corners, for this reason there is an indent in the base.

We were lucky to find a very beautiful lumber, quarter sawn (with straight grain) more than 7m long. We will use this for the surface layer. Even if the counter is divided in sections for transportation and assembly, the wood grain will naturally flow on the counter once completed.

Update about the project of transferring the temple:

This makes me think that there is a great potential in acting as a bridge between the “shining new building addict” Japanese and the community of the japan-lovers worldwide.
It looks like a win-win situation.

There are hundreds of kura (storage house), kaoku (house) , minka (country house) and even theatre stages, ryokans, bathhouses that are being wiped away everyday.
If there is anything I can do to match the right building with the right owner, I will do it!

Here below is some of the feedback I received:


Dear Iacopo,

Not a crazy idea at all!! I think it’s a great idea. Please can you let me know dismantling and shipping charges to UK and I have a storage place here.
Also I want to use the tub now so can this also be shipped Asap!
I am going to use much more Japanese things in our projects in the UK and Europe.
Best Wishes


Hi Iacopo,

I must say you sure have a way to attract my interest !!
Well, as I might have told you I live in a house with approximately 11,000 square meters of land around it and therefore plenty of room, I think, for the temple.
Also, Cairns has a permanent population of about 3,500 Japanese who, I would think, they would be entusiastic to knwo that there is an progonal temple in their city.
Could you please tell me more Iacopo? Any idea how much it will cost to dismantle it and the sort of volume/weight of material it will generate to transport it to Australia. If I have that kind of information I will be able to start getting some quotes and some idea of the cost of transporting it to Cairns.
Further, I guess I will need to know how to reassemble it once here.
Depending on the expense involved I might try to engage the local Japanese community to ee whether they are able contribute to the project somehow.
I am really quite excited about this idea!
By the way, Iacopo, my invitation to you and your family to visit Cairns is still open ended! If Zeno wants to come to Cairns to study some English at my school he is always most welcome!
Cheers


Hello from France,
Your message as just reached us and we care about your project…as you said “teleporting” would have a smell of unthinkable ! We could dare…

Do you have floor plans and other pictures of the inside of the Temple house ?
We could be interested to find a new location in the other country of the biggest European Natural forest and Ocean coast near Bordeaux and Biarritz in France ( South West ).
We are looking forward to understand what is the inside shape and craftsmanship pieces with other pictures ?Do you have technical pre study about the process of transplantation with an architect ? Any idea about the cost involved ?
Let’s talk about it ?
Have a nice day.
With our best regards.
Cordiales salutations.


I wish we had the space!
It makes our hearts sing for Japan…
Thanks for showing me


Hello and thank you for your message regarding the temple. I own a large land in ***** in the north of France. I would love to make a special place for people to come and create/compose/write/meditate… Can you send me more details? Idea of costs? There is just 20km from my place one of the largest ports in France, Le Havre…. container ships arriving everyday from all over the world. I look forward to hearing from you
warm regards


Dear Iacopo,
Have you had any responses yet?
I have been wondering about some of my colleagues who may have large amounts of land attached to their properties out of London.
Also, I will forward to my contacts in the Oriental Studies Department at Oxford University- maybe the university would be interested.
I believe we could make this happen.
Kind regards,


Torrini, Wow. We should have just gotten the temple and not built the house. I’m not sure how our neighbors would take to it though.
We will be getting back to you on our Japanese room shortly. Thanks.


Hello
I am very interested. Can you tell me what is the cost and what are the dimensions?
I live in Arizona USA and I have just the perfect place
Thanks


Great iacopo,
We are looking forward to this project. I am sure we can make this happen.
We have the right people and space to rebuild and keep the temple in honor.
Thank you again and hope to talk to you later.
Warm regards,


Then, there are many courtesy messages and many people interested in the artifacts and parts of the building.
I think I will give priority to the projects which would reconstruct the building in its integrity.

There is even a friend asking the cost of the land with the temple on it.
Is he planning to move to japan? I will check with him in private…

Anyway, keep tuned. I will post here additional information and updates.
Sayonara!

8 tubs on the roof

Well, there are some moments in life that make you feel proud.
I could not contain my emotions when I saw the pictures of the tubs on the roof top overlooking the ocean…

The carpenters went on site to verify that the tubs were installed properly and that the maintenance instructions were implemented correctly.
Too bad I could not make it… but I will definitely go when the project is 100% completed to enjoy the view … and the hot water!

Each tub is comfortable for 6 people.
Material: japanese knotless sawara wood.
Size: Dia 2000mm x H730mm (600mm deep)
Option: internal seat

Each tub is equipped with a step-bench in asnaro wood W600 D320 H300mm
and a floor mounted Spout in asnaro wood (E type)

work in progress on round tubs

We are now working on an order of 8 tubs for an Hong Kong restaurant.
The first lot of 4 will be shipped in july and the second lot in august.

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I wonder if the customers will enjoy the hot water while eating? Or will take a bath while enjoying the landscape after the meal? I will keep you posted.
I am sure it will be a highly successful formula as the “japanese style” is really rocking in Hong Kong as well as Singapore.

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Shipping matching service (beta version)

Last month a client was enthusiastic at the idea of purchasing a japanese bathtub.
Unfortunately, the shipping cost quotation came as a cold shower.
For a small size tub, the shipping cost can be close to the actual cost of the tub itself…
She asked if there was a way to lower the cost.
Actually, we charge only about 5,000-9,000 JPY for processing fees, the rest is pure cost, as we receive it from the shipping company.
After years of comparative bidding, we selected the best providers. Some are very specialized for some areas (eg. Australia), some are more competitive for air, some others for ocean shipping and so on.
We usually request a couple of quotations and submit the cheapest.
Anyway, let`s go back to the conversation with the client I mentioned here above.
I told her that the only way would be to consolidate a couple of shippings. I asked – as a joke – if she did not have a friend willing to order an ofuro at the same time…
Well, we were talking on the phone and I was almost dazzled at the light bulb she had!
A friend of hers from California was also planning to buy an ofuro! This could be a great chance!
Unfortunately, there is no big saving if the destinations are far and would involve separate landing locations…
Sorry about that.
But after hanging up, I had my own light-bulb: how about opening up our schedule to the clients so that they can find another japanese lover with a matching schedule?
This is why I am now writing this page.
I will test a new method (beta version) using a third party scheduling service.
If it works I will find a long term solution.
Please access the calendar here.
1) Choose the service according to your area.
2) Choose the preferred date on the calendar.
3) Fill in your address. (Phone no. is not required)
If we find another person with similar schedule we will contact both to verify if there is flexibility and try to ship the 2,3 or more ofuro all at once!
This could make you save big bucks!
Please let me know any comment or advice here below.

Ando Tadao house … for sale!

Well, this may seem a little out of topic compared to the other posts of this blog.
But I realize most of you reading this blog love japanese design and minimalist aesthetics, (of course, besides japanese bathtubs…!)
Well, I heard of a 1984 house designed by Ando Tadao which is for sale and I`d like to share with you this juicy information. I am noticing that many residents of Singapore and Honk Kong are eagerly purchasing real estate in Japan: I would be honored if this post helped you finding the house of your dreams!

My friend Rica is married with an Englishman and lives in Kobe.
She is a real estate broker and deals with rentals as well as with residential and investment properties for sale. She just advertised this new gem:

ando-tadao-dining

It is a compact size private residence located in a beautiful area famous for its well preserved natural environment, on the hillside of Nishinomiya
The property consists of a 2 story house + basement (4BR) with a total floor area of 207.20 sqm and insists on a generous lot (for japanese standards) of 440.95 sqm
It is located in the green Megamiyama (Nishinomiya city) with easy access to both Osaka and Kobe.
The asking price is 78,500,000 JPY. For more information, check directly Rica`s homepage
One final note. The only problem with this property is… that it is not equipped with a hinoki ofuro…
The good news is that we can provide one for you, to match perfectly the size and style of the house ^^!

ando-tadao-stonefloor.jpg Enjoy your weekend!

Wow

Wow! WOW! wOw! woW!
I cannot help dedicating a twin entry to this beautiful tub installed in Canada.
Please check also the client`s comments in the testimonials section.
I thanked again the client for his kindness and generosity.
He replied saying: “Please feel free to use the photos and our comments although we would prefer to remain anonymous. We hope the photos help to inspire other potential customers to order your fine tubs.”
He is dedicating the pictures to all the japanese lovers` community, so here are more pictures!

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