Haruhisa Uejima
Naramachi Monogatari-Kan Construction Committee Member (April,22,1995)

 The Project of the Naramachi Monogatari-kan was very important not only for
the contents of its process of getting this center's ideas into shape but also
for its nature of open-door in promoting our conservation activities which are
carried out under the leadership of the public with support from the government.
And although it was a small scale restoration work of a building.
We could evaluate it as a suitable model case for establishing a system for
shop house restoration including a reached consent when we carry out our
conservation activities.

<Basic Plan>
 To start off our restoration work this time, it seemed to be really a
meaningful work that it could give all the members an opportunity to join this
project with consciousness and with many people's ideas to be taken into
 First of all we began to ask the members and directors for their proposed
basic plans and then we held the board meetings many times to review the basic
contents of the Naramachi Monogatari-kan project.With Naramachi's locality
and one of its nature as a Townscape Formation District taken into
consideration, we listed up cleary to paper a background of its establishment
and its objectives, its main functions, the ground plan and its planning.

 The principle objective of the Naramachi Monogatari-kan is not only to
display a restoration work itself of a traditional shop house as a part of
restoration and display of traditional housing works of a promotional project of
regional wooden housing supply of the Ministry of Construction but also to
provide five main functions as follows:
@ Information Function
 To provide information on shophouse repair.townscaping and on tours and
 events in Naramachi and Yamato.
A Consulting Function
 To give advice on shop house repair and on townscaping.
B Training and Exchanging Function
 To provide a site for multipurpose events such as holding workshops and
 training and to offer a salon for exchanging.
C Display Function
 To provide a place for various display including shop house repair and etc.
D Management Function
 To function as the Secretariat of the Nara Machizukuri Center and to manage
 its facility.

<Construction Committee>
 When the basic plan was settled on we decided to set up a construction
committee for the Naramachi Monogatari-kan as a special committee to move
into an execution plan. This committee was not set up by selecting the
members but by recruiting voluntary members and many architects, designers,
activists in townscaping. administrative concerned gathered to form the
committee.On February 6, 1994, the first committee meeting was held andit
started off to carry a plan into execution.
 Mr. Hiroshi Iwasaki, architect was elected chairman of this committee and
under the direction of him every important issue was hereafter decided in this
construction committee.As we proceeded this project, the members were
reorganized to divide up the work among us.
 Members were reorganized into three sections: 'Architecture Section' lead
by myself for designing and supervising to proceed the exsiting restoration
plan, 'Interior Section' lead by Mr. Kiyoji Fukui, and 'Report and Event
Section' lead by Mr. Naoyoshi Morii. These three sections formed the
construction committee and besides the original members who are the members
of the Nara Machizukuri Center, We got many people to join and cooperate us to
carry this work forward.

<Preliminary Design>
 After the basic plan was settled on by the board of directors, the
Construction Committee reached its preliminary design stage. When all the
members were invited to propose a preliminary plan (plan, elevation and section),
three plans of Mr.Nagayama, Mr.Tamura and myself were mainly presented.
And all the plans were introduced to at the 4th committee meeting, and we decided
to take up three members plans with some goodideas from others's based on the
preliminary plan which was settled on by the board of directors.
 The three members including myself who had presented the plans started off
the preliminary designing and we began to coordinate many ideas including the
 As to the fund adjustment, the project was subsidized14 million yen in total
as a part of restoration and display of traditional housing works of the
Ministry of Construction and of a townscape conservation works of Nara City,
and under the direction of Urban Planning Section of Urban Planning Department,
Nara City Office which was in charge of this project and Construction Guidance
Section, We confirmed their policy in Naramachi as the administration, We
discussed in our committee meetings, repeated trial and error and modified the
plan again and again.And finally at the7th committee meeting on June 29,
1994, We completed the preliminary design by the committee and it was passed
at the board of directors and thus we reached to its execution design stage.

<Investigation of the Actual Situation>
In order to go forward with its execution design, We Carried out an
investigation of the shop house to understand the actual situation exactly almost
simultaneously with the completion of the preliminary design. As is stated in
the survey of the Board of Education, We could find many old building materials
which were converted from buildings of the Meiji era. For example, We found
that many old materials were grafted onto one pillar and unnecessary mortises
happened to be in a beam. And the shop house seemed to have been reconstructed
and extended many times and have been remodeled into quite different form
from the one at the time it was originally built. Very slender materials were
used in the pillars and the beams and we could find many of them rotted away.
And as it was originally a site of the Kondo(Golden Hall)of the Gango-ji,
We found two big foundation stones in this site.

<Execution Plan>
 The execution plan was also drawn by the same members as those in charge of
the preliminary plan. As to the construction work in general, We gave priority
to the examination of how to reinforce the rotten materials or the structure
of the beams and well as to the repair work on a remodeling level.
Following our plan, We made an effort to maintain the existing framework by
building supporters inside the walls on east and west side of the shop house
and by building new walls attached to the existing walls. We specified to use
building materials such as roof tiles and timbers and others which were made
in Nara Prefecture as much as possible and to draw a design that would not
spoil the image of traditional shop houses. While the Construction Committee
proceeded its plan, 'Interior Section' which was newly set up began to work.
This section Look charges of the image of its space for gallery use.its
lighting design and its furniture coordinates.As a basic concept, We had a
specific image of 'wind' as a metaphor for the people or information which
flow into the Naramachi Monogatar-kan.
 With the cooperation of Mr.Takebayashi of Facilities A&I Design Office,
Lighting Design Group, Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd., our light fixtures were
selected.As to the furniture, we designed a basic box style cabinet to make
our original furniture which can be flexibly used by piling up. As to the
facility design, We adopted a toilet with the handicapped people's use
to be taken into consideration and a floor furnace to be equipped at a dirt
floor as a suggested plan because of the cold weather in a shop house in winter
and an air conditioner called 'Gas Heat Pump Air Conditioner' of a gas company.

<Selection of a Building Contractor>
 On the occasion of our restoration work of this decrepit shop house, many
people advised us that it would be cheaper to reconstruct it than to restore
it and we could not imagine how much restoration work and expenses it would
 But with the subsidy from the Ministry of Construction and Nara City and
also with a fund called 'Kawara(roof tile)Kikin' kindly offered by many
people, we could afford to put this project into practice on a budget of about
26 million yen at first.
 As to a selection of a building contractor, 2 contractors were selected with
the locality of Naramachi and previous results of them taken into consider-
ation and we decided to select one of them by checking the contents of the
estimated expenses.
 We had to proceed the work rapidly, because the restoration work should have
been completed within that year due to the subsidy and at the completion of
the preliminary design before we set to design in details, We showed them our
budget and asked them to make their estimated expenses briefly.
 As a result, One contractor presented us their estimated expense far above
the estimate While another construction firm ca11ed Masuo Kensetsu presented
just what we had estimated. It was very fortunate that we could feel their
enthusiasm and strong will agianst this project at the early stage.
 And at the same time, the execution design was almost completed and we asked
Masuo Kensetsu particularly to make a formal estimation and we entered into
negotiations with them. Although we changed some specifications while we were
in negotiations due to our budgetary limits, We budgeted 25.66 million yen
Without changing our preliminary design and on September 21,1994, We finished
a ground-breaking and we drew up a formal contract with Masuo Kensetsu.

<Restoration Work>
 Since this shop house stands on the Kondo site of the Gango-ji, the ground
-breaking ceremony was held by Mr.Taizen Tsujimura, priest according to
Buddhist rites with a large number of members including Mr.Katsuakira Kihara,
President of the Nara Machizukuri Center attending and the construction work
started. The construction committee decided to go to see the site once a week
in rotation among Mr.Nagayama, Mr.Tamura and myself and to hold a meeting
once a month with Mr. Abe, manager Of the construction work of Masuo Kensetsu,
other dealers concerned and three of us to carry the work forward. As they
proceeded a dismantle work and walls or floorboard of the shophouse were ripped
away and the exact figure appeared, the decay of the shop house turned to
be worse than we had expected and we reviewed the reinforcement work again and
actually we set supporters on the west side wall and we built new walls attached
to the existing walls. We needed enough reinforcement work for the decrepit
shop house to stand up to further use and we considered it so important
for the wooden building that we spent much energy and materials for this
reinforcement work.
 We could get good timbers came from Yoshino assisted by Mr. Sowa, President
of the Nara Housing Wood Co., Ltd. and we decided to use them in major parts.
One of the biggest factors of our having successfully completed the restoration
work was that we could get excellent carpenters and artisans who could
deal with it from Masuo Kensetsu, our building contractor.
 Based on our concept of using materials produced in Nara. we could get good
roof tiles with the cooperation of Ishino Roof Tiles Industry of the Nara Roof
Tiles Center Co., Ltd. We also proceeded the restoration work with an
assistant from the local dealers such as those of fixtures, flooring rush mats
and other facilities as well as the building contractor. We could also equip
an air conditioner and a floor furnace with the cooperation of the Osaka Gas
Co., Ltd. Nara Branch.

<The Completion>
 Having experienced many difficulties, the restoration work was completed and
on March 27, We had the shop house examined by the Urban Planning Section of
the Nara City Office. On April 7, We, the construction committee members
finished the completion examination and finally on April 22, we could celebrate
the opening ceremony of the Naramachi Monogatari-kan.
It was almost surprising-like impressive that such old shop house could
successfully be restored within the limited budget and I believe that the thoughts
of all the peoples involved in this work expressed themselves in the form of
the Naramachi Monogatari-kan. And the shop house built in the Meiji era came
back to life again as the NaramaChi Monogatari-kan and will live forever.
 The restoration work could be completed with the cooperation of all the
people, the corporations and others and I would like to express my gratitude
to those involved in this work and also like to make full use of our experience
for further shop house restoration activities of ours.

<Construction Committee Members> (April,22,1995)

Chairman           HiroshiIwasaki,Architect
Architecture Section   Haruhisa Uejima,Architect
                Hidemi Ueda,Architect
                Ichiro Katsumura, Architect
                Satoshi Tamura, Architect
                Koichi Nagayama, Architect
                Hiroshi Yamazaki, Architect
Event Section       Naoyoshi Morii, Planner.Rural Urban Planning Unit
                Koichi Yokoi, Designer
                Koichi Tanaka, Tanaka Shokai
                Masafumi Fujino, Nara Prefectural Office
Interior Section      Kiyoji Fukui, Designer
                Nobuhiro Nakazaki, Designer
                Mizu Watabe, Event Planner, Ms. Planning
                Takehiro Hasegawa, Seto City Office
Observer          Takashi Matsuyama, Matsuyama Co., Lld.

NMC secretariat     Kumiko Adachi, Nara Machizukuri Center Inc.