In this room, we will explain a number of items related to the restoration process of the cultural architecture. The Myonichikan restoration work consisted of three principles:
The first principle is “Preservation of Cultural Value.”
By reusing flooring materials as much as possible, and using techniques from the time period to plaster ceilings and walls, cultural value may be preserved.
The second principle is “Reinforcing Buildings to Enhance Endurance.”
Renovation of cultural assets should take place about once every 100 years. Until the next major renovation, in order to maintain the facilities, some places were reinforced with steal frames. Also, as this building is vulnerable to leaks, measures are being implemented to deal with rain water and humidity damage in places that are usually unseen to preserve building integrity.
The third principle is “Improving Facilities for Utilization”
Previously, there was no lighting in this room, so it was far from bright. In order for the general public to use school facilities built during the early 20th century, improvements had to be made for use during mid-summer, mid-winter, and at night. With permission from the Agency for Cultural Affairs, we are installing air conditioning and lighting, and are modernizing the lavatories.
Please take a look at the flooring in this room. Roughly two thirds of the way from the back is original flooring. As most of the original flooring was quite damaged, even after gathering the usable flooring pieces from all of the classrooms, this is all we could salvage. The reason most of the flooring was so damaged is due to the floor having been at the ground level. Floors at the ground level were fine in the Chicago suburbs where Wright built his original designed houses and the climate is generally dryer. But in Japan, where the climate is damp and wet, this was not ideal. Also, when we removed the plaster during renovation, we discovered that the rhombus window on the north was not a part of the original plan, since the diagonal brace inside the wall was found to have been severed in order to install the window. It is said that the window was added due to a request from a school official to increase light in the classrooms.