Eric Pillault’s ‘Machiya’ in Kyoto

The French artistic director unveils his Japanese residence, a traditional house refurbished using contemporary elements like concrete.


Video editingRosa Martin WordsRebecca Zissmann

In 2018, graphic designer, artistic director, and photographer Eric Pillault invested in a machiya in Kyoto. He fell under the spell of this former merchants’ house, typical of the city, located in the Shimogamo district, east of the Kamogawa river.

This machiya was renovated by his predecessors, a couple comprising two architects, one Japanese and the other Australian. They kept the original wooden structure and modernised it using materials particularly appreciated by Japanese architects, like concrete. It is composed of a room with a high ceiling and a mezzanine and is characterised by its dual-aspect nature. The rear wall can be opened fully to look out onto a small garden situated in a cul-de-sac, blurring the boundaries between indoor and outdoor. Eric Pillault visits several times a year to recharge his batteries in an environment that he strove to make minimalist and that gives off a soothing aroma of cedar.


Eric Pillault’s work can be viewed on his Instagram account dedicated to his photographs of Japan.


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Una publicación compartida de Pen ペン (@penofficial)