Maruwakaya by Fumihiko Sano

We really like this project by the Tokyo-based architect Fumihiko Sano, located in the Taito-Kut district of the Japanese capital, which was named En yu-An. The eye pleasing light space functions as the salon and showroom for Maruwakaya, a company which produces monozukuri, meaning craftsmanship or art of design and manufacturing, that links traditional crafts to Contemporary art. The central piece in the space is an eye-catching long narrow counter made from tremendous Japanese cedar, which is augmented through the appliance of lintels, sills, and pillars. The diverse arrangement of the lintels and the pillars in the room aims to make visitors unconsciously sense the variation of the space. Yet the structure does not affect the existing surfaces of the space, it is simply placed inside the room, without being fixated to the walls, floor and ceiling, giving the space a very unique and organic aesthetic and feel.

Into the wooden framework shelving has been created which is used to display Maruwakaya‘s stock, with other decorative items placed on small surfaces fixed to posts closer to the ceiling. Traditional dowel joints were used to erect the framework and fix the horizontal surfaces in place. White pebbles are contained within the wooden frame beneath the counter, as well as below one of the shelving areas and next to a doorway in the back corner. Large windows and glazed doors on one wall give the room a very light appearance. Daylight is filtered through fabric panels suspended from the wooden structure and bamboo cane screens softening the whole aesthetic of the space. Light bulbs are finally suspended from the ceiling offering supplementary illumination and concluding the space with a touch of industrialism in the overall natural material palette of this magnificent space.

Architect Fumihiko Sano was born in 1981 in Nara, Japan, into a family construction company focussed on traditional Japanese style. As a result Sano set out in the same direction studying the craft of carpeting and the involved techniques, materials, and overall culture as a young man. In this period he worked on a diverse field of construction projects; from a tearoom, a Japanese restaurant, hotels and a State Guesthouse, really getting to the core of construction. In 2011 Sano established studio PHENOMENON to work on architectural and interior projects under his own flag, using the full knowledge and experience of his time in carpeting.

Photography by Daisuke Shima for Nacasa & Partners.

For more information on the work of Fumihiko Sano see here.