This beautiful new specialty rice shop named Okomeya is located on a diminishing shopping street - Miyakawa Shotengai - in the Togoshi Koen area of Tokyo. The street used to prosper with an array of small individual shops, but it has declined substantially and many have closed. As a consequence, the street has become a so-called shutter street, on the verge of disappearance. Design firm Owan Inc, which also operates a roastery/coffee shop and a café on the street, is striving to reactivate the shopping street and Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects was commissioned to renovate a former wooden vegetable shop into their next venture: a speciality rice shop. The designated building has a typical layout, with the shop space facing the street and the residence of the owner located in the back. Due to this traditional design the shop is very small, measuring only 16 m², which was beautifully adjusted into a perfect hybrid of the original building combined with elegant and pragmatic touches for the new purpose of the space. [ Continue reading ]
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Next to other Japanese frontrunners in interior design who have inspired us deeply over the last few years; names like Yusuke Seki, Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects, SIDES CORE and the ever-inspirational Nendo, Masamichi Katayama's legendary Wonderwall design firm is a name that was still clearly missing in our online reflections of what moves us in the creations of others. Fortunately, with last August's presentation of 'Wonderwall Case Studies', we can finally show our appreciation for their incredible vision, which this Summer was honored by Gestalten with the very first comprehensive exploration of the work, process, and mind-set of what is one of the most influential interior design firms in the world. The release of the compendium not only celebrates Katayama’s 15-year old prolific and profound body of work, but also honors the designer’s 50th birthday. Wonderwall’s East meets West approach to retail design has produced integral successes like the development of a inspirational brand space for Lexus; to the global flagship design of Uniqlo, that has become something of a benchmark in its field — the book presents rich documentation on eleven milestone projects out of a portfolio brimming with international projects, exciting collaborations, and an impressive list of clientele. Visual essays showcase the Wonderwall working culture. An in-depth profile, written by the M+ design curator Aric Chen, provides insight into Katayama’s early years, education, key influences, and major professional achievements. And a final catalog section presents a visual overview of twenty-three additional agency projects, highlighting Wonderwall’s reach and renown.
Step into this unprecedented insight of Masamichi Katayama's mind, that goes far beyond just the finished projects, giving a unique perspective on his and Wonderwall's extraordinary level of excellence. [ Continue reading ]
We are fans of the work of Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects and recently the Tokyo-based firm completed another gem: the new space for Japanese brand Cabane de Zucca. Located in the Daikanyama area, the interior of the new store shows a continuing theme from the other recently opened Schemata-designed Cabane de Zucca in the renown Sibura Parco. The Daikanyama store shows a strongly executed industrial aesthetic with sharp geometry and familiar materials. Yet, what we are most drawn to in this particular store is the unique subtle (concrete-like) texture on the walls, floors and ceiling, created out of different materials. Next to actual concrete, textured wood and tremendous chromate treated steel plates and frames were used showing a similar aesthetic. It's seldom that one sees such an extraordinary key element of a space integrated throughout different materials and furniture as superbly done by Schemata. [ Continue reading ]