nana’s green tea SHIKI
Saitama, Japan / 2009
“Modern tea room”
Nanaha Co., Ltd. is a company that sends the “new form of Japan” to the world through “mattcha”. They provide high quality mattcha in menus that are arranged modernly, such as mattacha latte. The space inside the shop is desired to be a “modern tearoom”, not a “Japanese style tea room”. According to the owner, it is a way of expressing their feeling to make a shop that allows the customers to enjoy the traditional Japanese culture with a modern interpretation.
The cafe is located at a shopping mall in Shiki train station. The train ticket gates are right in front of the cafe, which would bring plenty of customers around, thus the design is targeting the commuters.
Under this concept, I designed the shop, nana’s green tea Shiki Branch, focusing on the history of tea room.
Japanese architecture has traditionally not been a culture of walls but a culture of pillars, floors and ceilings, yet tea room adapted the culture of walls against the previous traditional spaces created by pillars, floors and ceilings, and paradoxically expressed infinite expansion of one’s soul in an extremely tiny space.
Japanese people were unfamiliar to the culture of ‘kabe’ (wall) and, therefore, felt the infinite universe in the tea rooms and the possibility of the rebirth of souls.
On the opposite side, it is getting harder for the modern Japanese people to feel the infinite expansion from ‘kabe’, since they are already accustomed to the culture of walls. Considering the situation, I made walls for every chairs and removed extra parts from the walls, to design the space as a tea room surrounded by invisible walls. Mobilising the Japanese people’s special sensitivity that make them experience the boundaries in space, this tea room is designed to be a space where invisible boundaries continue infinitely.
Photos by Keisuke Miyamoto
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