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    Locally produced tiles clad walls and table in Blue Bottle Coffee shop in Nagoya

    Japanese studio Keiji Ashizawa Design sourced local materials for the design of Blue Bottle Coffee cafe in Nagoya, Japan, which features tiles across its surfaces and lamps made from pottery plates.

    The studio used tiles across the walls, floors and tables of the cafe, which were all produced by local manufacturer Ceramic Olive Bricks.
    “This cafe is located in the Chukyo area of central Japan, an area that excels in manufacturing, so we decided to make the most of it,” Keiji Ashizawa Design’s founder Keiji Ashizawa told Dezeen.
    Tiles cover the walls in this Blue Bottle Coffee cafe in Nagoya”We used a lot of tiles on the walls this time,” Ashizawa added.
    “Inspired by Blue Bottle Coffee’s philosophy of valuing the local, we decided to use tiles that are produced in the Chukyo area,” he continued.

    “These tiles are used to cover the structural walls of the building that exist as pillars to create three frames.”
    A table at the centre of the space is also tiledAs well as cladding the walls in tiles, the studio used them to demarcate seating areas and created a tile-clad table as a centrepiece of the 311-square-metre space.
    “We designed the table specifically for the space,” Ashizawa explained. “The tiles used are different from the wall tiles but are from the same tile manufacturer, glazed for easy cleaning.”
    Wooden furniture is used throughout the space”We thought that the cafe, which often serves as a lounge in a large building, needs to have a central space where everyone can remember,” Ashizawa added.
    “When deciding to create a large centre table, we thought a tiled table would be both iconic and appropriate for this space.”
    Tiling also lines parts of the floor of the cafeThe cafe features wooden furniture throughout and is decorated with rounded wall sconces and pendant lamps made from pottery plates.
    “The pendant and wall lamps are made of pottery plates from the same region as the tiles, and are also used as tableware in the store,” Ashizawa said.
    “The surface gives a soft, diffused light, where the light hitting the slightly uneven edges of the plate adds a touch of craft.”
    Above the counter is a brass lamp that references Nagoya CastleIn addition, the studio drew on a local monument for the interior design. Above the main tiled table, a mobile adds an extra decorative touch.
    “The lighting on the counter finished in brass colour was created in homage to the famous ornaments on the top of Nagoya Castle,” the designer said.

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    “The mobile that looks like a tree branch was designed by an architect friend who also designed the Blue Bottle Coffee Fukuoka cafe,” continued Ashizawa.
    “Depending on how the light hits, it appears as if it is a lighting fixture. The delicate mobile, named In the Sky, made of brass subtly defines the place and creates a charming atmosphere.”
    A slim mobile hangs above the main tableThe interior has an earthy colour palette with pink-coloured tiles.
    “The elegant pink color of the tiles, the gray floor and walls, added with the natural wood and textiles of the furniture were chosen to work in harmony with one another,” Ashizawa said.
    The cafe is located in Nagoya’s Chunichi BuildingThe Chunichi Building, in which the cafe is located, is a well-known Nagoya landmark that was formerly a theatre and now houses a hotel. This also influenced how Ashozawa thought about the design of the space.
    “The cafe was conditioned to be on the ground floor of the building that is familiar to the locals with its historical existence and the newly constructed hotel floors,” he said.
    “I had the inspiration to somehow add value to the place by making it not just a cafe, but more of a lounge space in a hotel that provides a sense of comfort.”
    The Blue Bottle Coffee shop is the seventh designed by Keiji AshizawaThis is the seventh Blue Bottle Coffee cafe designed by Keiji Ashizawa Design, with others including a shop in Shanghai’s Qiantan area with a glazed facade and another in Kobe’s Hankyu department store that takes advantage of its display windows.
    According to Ashizawa, the studio aims to tailor the different designs to suit their surroundings.
    “For all of them, it is always a pleasure to have discussions about local, landscape, and the culture of the place and country to be utilized in designing the store,” he concluded.
    “Indeed, this is what makes them a challenging project as every store has its own character and constraints.”
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku.
    Project credits:
    Architect: Keiji Ashizawa DesignProject architect: Keiji Ashizawa and Chaoyen WuConstruction: TANKTiles: Ceramic Olive IncFurniture: Karimoku and Karimoku CaseLighting design: Aurora and Yoshiki IchikawaPendant, wall lamp shade and logo plate: Juzan

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    Karimoku Case lines minimalist Tokyo apartment with local wood

    Japanese brand Karimoku Case has redesigned an apartment on a hilltop in Tokyo, using wood and a neutral colour palette to create a “calm and serene atmosphere”.

    Named Azabu Hills Residence, the project was designed by Karimoku Case – a studio developed by Karimoku Furniture in collaboration with design studios Keiji Ashizawa and Norm Architects.
    The studio used the project as an opportunity to optimise the use of local zelkova wood which is increasingly underutilised.
    The apartment features furniture made from zelkova wood”We sympathized with the story of how zelkova used to be a common material in Japan, but is now being chipped and discarded, and wished to explore the possibilities of zelkova through this project,” lead designer Keiji Ashizawa told Dezeen.
    “When I first saw the sample of it, I felt that its gentle reddish hue, along with its story, was a good match for the project,” he continued.

    “We decided to create the interior using zelkova that would come in harmony with the gentle light from the north side.”
    A neutral material palette creates a “calm and serene atmosphere”The 226-metre-square apartment was centred around a spacious, open-plan living area and dining room illuminated by floor-to-ceiling windows.
    A small workspace nestled behind a wall in the living space makes use of the spacious interior, and is furnished with a desk, chair and shelving made from zelkova wood.
    White plaster walls and wooden floors define the living spacesThe minimalist interior is defined by textured white walls and wood used for flooring, window frames and fittings, which are tied together by cream furnishings, paper lighting fixtures and decorative artwork.
    In the living space, lattice wooden screens were used to separate programmes as well as provide cross ventilation through the space to create airy interiors.

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    “With the residence being located in the middle of a large city like Tokyo, it was important to have a home-like atmosphere that makes you feel at ease,” Ashizawa said.
    “We were conscious of the calmness and tranquility needed to achieve this, and designed the interior with well-curated furniture, lighting, and art to create an environment for this purpose.”
    Wooden, lattice screens allow ventilation through the homeA counter made from zelkova wood divides the living space and adjacent kitchen, while also serving as an additional seating and dining space.
    Within the kitchen, cabinets built from gridded wooden frames were finished with concrete countertops, complemented by tiled terrazzo flooring that also features in the home’s entryway.
    Furnishings, paper lighting fixtures and pieces of artwork tie the interior togetherGridded wooden frames are repeated for both storage in the living area and a wall in the main bedroom where the home transitions into a cosy-feel with carpet flooring.
    A circular chair and marbled table sit in front of the bedroom’s floor-to-ceiling windows, with a study desk nestled into the corner.
    Gridded wooden frames feature in the kitchen, living space and bedroomOther recently completed projects with minimalist interiors include a dental clinic in Montreal designed to feel like “someone’s home” and a London pub converted into a pared-back jewellery showroom.
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku. 
    Project credits:
    Architect: Keiji Ashizawa DesignProject architect: Keiji Ashizawa / Ryota MaruyamaClient: reBITA / NTT Urban Development Coperation TokyoConstruction: TamarixFurniture collaboration: Norm ArchitectsFurniture: Karimoku CaseLighting: Kojima Shoten / Saito ShomeiLighting plan: AURORA / Yoshiki IchikawaInterior styling: Yumi Nakata

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    Soba restaurant Kawamichiya takes over century-old townhouse in Kyoto

    Japanese studios Td-Atelier and Endo Shorijo Design have transformed a townhouse in Kyoto into a noodle restaurant that combines traditional residential details with modern geometric interventions.

    Kawamichiya Kosho-An is an outpost of soba restaurant Kawamichiya, which can trace its history of creating dishes using buckwheat noodles back more than 300 years.
    Diners enter Kawamichiya Kosho-An via a small gardenIt occupies a 110-year-old property in the downtown Nakagyo Ward that retained several features typical of traditional Japanese houses, including a lattice-screened facade and an alcove known as a tokonoma.
    Architect Masaharu Tada and designer Shorijo Endo collaborated on the townhouse’s conversion into a 143-square-metre restaurant, restoring some of the original elements while adapting others to suit its new purpose.
    Changes in floor height delineate different dining areas”Originally it looked like a townhouse with an elaborate design, but various modifications were made for living and those designs were hidden or destroyed,” said Tada.

    “Therefore, we tried to restore the elements of the townhouse such as hidden or lost design windows and alcoves and add new geometry to them to revive them as a new store.”
    Guests can sit on floor cushions in the traditional Japanese parlourA lattice screen at the front of the building was restored to help preserve its residential aesthetic, while renovations were carried out on walls, pillars and eaves within the open-air entrance passage.
    The entryway leads to a small genkan-niwa garden, where paving stones are laid to create a path using a traditional technique known as shiki-ishi.

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    Customers enter Kawamichiya Kosho-An through a small retail area containing freestanding partitions that allow the original wooden ceiling structure to remain visible.
    Built-in bench seating is positioned along one wall and a window seat offers a view of the street outside. Customers here can eat with their shoes on, while beyond this space they are required to remove footwear as is customary when entering a Japanese house.
    Many of the building’s traditional lattice screens were retainedThe use of different materials and changes in floor height help to delineate areas within the restaurant and create a range of experiences. Guests can choose to sit on chairs in a porch-like space known as a doma or on floor cushions in the traditional Japanese parlour.
    The kitchen is positioned at the centre of the building and is set slightly lower than the surrounding floors, allowing staff working behind the counter to have a clear view of each diner.
    “We control the line of sight to the audience, the garden and the street by the height of each floor,” Tada said. “As a result, it is an original townhouse element […] and a new design that fuses old and new.”
    One of the upstairs rooms features a curved funazoko-tenjo ceilingSome of the existing features that help to preserve the building’s character include the tokonoma alcove in a room on the first floor, which also has a curved wooden ceiling known as a funazoko-tenjo.
    In Kawamichiya Kosho-An’s main dining area, a tokonoma was replaced with a low decorative shelf while the original screened window in this space was retained. Traditional wooden doors and paper shoji screens were also adapted and used to partition the space.
    The restaurant is set in a converted townhouse in KyotoTada studied at Osaka University before founding his studio in 2006. He has collaborated on several projects with Endo, who completed a master’s in plastic engineering at the Kyoto Institute of Technology before establishing his studio in 2009.
    The pair’s previous work includes the renovation of a typical machiya townhouse in Kyoto, which they modernised to better suit the living requirements of its occupants.

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    Keiji Ashizawa adds “residential calm” to Aloop clinic in Ginza

    Japanese architect Keiji Ashizawa has created the interior for a skincare clinic in Tokyo, using textiles and custom-made furniture to make it feel more residential than medical.

    The Aloop Clinic & Lab, which provides “skin cure and care”, is located in the city’s upscale Ginza area and run by Japanese beauty company POLA. Ashizawa wanted to give it an interior that would feel peaceful, while also representing the brand.
    The Aloop clinic has a calm minimalist interior”As a clinic that uses medical technology to deal with beauty, we thought that the space should have sincerity, calmness, and beauty in order to create a comfortable time for customers to feel at ease,” Ashizawa told Dezeen.
    “In addition, considering that this is a completely new business for the POLA beauty brand, we felt that it was necessary to create a space that would enhance the brand.”
    Wood was used throughout the spaceTo do so, Ashizawa looked at the design of the 210-square-metre clinic like he would if he were designing a residential space, giving it a calm, minimalist interior.

    “Although it is a clinic, I considered the space to be similar to a hotel or a living space,” he said. “Therefore, I used materials that I use in designing living spaces and hotels.”
    “The walls are plaster and the floor is a wool rug from Hotta Carpet,” he added. “The sofa and furniture at the characteristic entrance are made of Kvadrat wool textile to create a pleasant texture.”
    Treatment rooms were designed to have a residential feelThe architect used a clean, simple colour palette throughout the space, with white-painted walls contrasting against wooden panelling and wooden doors.
    “Wood was used for doors, furniture and details because we wanted to create a residential calm rather than a clinic,” Ashizawa said. “We felt that a bright and healthy atmosphere was necessary.”
    “The extensive use of wood was to create a residential atmosphere, and we wanted the space to be as far away from a typical clinic as possible,” he added.
    Keiji Ashizawa created custom-made sofas with furniture brand KarimokuHis studio worked together with wooden furniture brand Karimoku to design the custom-made sofas for the space, which welcome customers as they enter the clinic.
    “Of particular importance to this project were the custom sofas,” Ashizawa said.
    “We asked Karimoku, with whom we communicate on a daily basis for furniture development and wood projects, to work with us on the development of the furniture.”

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    He compared his collaboration with the brand to that of mid-century modern Finnish architect Alvar Aalto and furniture brand Artek.
    “For me, Karimoku has become an indispensable partner in thinking about space, just as Aalto is for Artek,” he explained.
    Neutral colours contrast against pale woodBy creating the sofas with rounded edges, Ashizawa aimed for them to “gently envelop” customers after their treatments.
    “The mere fact that something looks hard or painful makes the body tense, so we thought it would be desirable to eliminate such things,” he said.
    “However, in order to maintain a comfortable sense of tension in the room, delicate details of metal and wood were used to achieve a balance.”
    Small sculptures decorate the spaceSmall sculptures were dotted throughout the Aloop clinic, including in the treatment rooms.
    Ashizawa has previously designed an interior with a similar colour palette for the Hiroo Residence in Tokyo, and also used plenty of wood for his and Norm Architects minimalist Trunk Hotel design.
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku.

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    Keiji Ashizawa Design and Norm Architects create “honest” Trunk Hotel in Tokyo

    An exposed raw concrete facade fronts the Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park, which Japanese studio Keiji Ashizawa Design and Danish firm Norm Architects conceived as a minimalist retreat in the heart of the city.

    Marking the third location in a trio of Trunk hotels in Tokyo, the design of the boutique hotel was rooted in the concept of “urban recharge”, according to Trunk chief creative officer Masayuki Kinoshita.
    Trunk Hotel Yoyogi Park features a raw concrete facadeThe hotel group said the idea was to balance the opposing elements of tradition and modernity as well as nature and the city and the melding of both Japanese and European craft.
    Keiji Ashizawa Design created a textured concrete aggregate facade for the seven-storey building, which is punctuated with steel-lined balconies and overlooks Yoyogi Park’s lush treetops.
    Guest rooms feature a muted colour and material paletteThe studio worked with Norm Architects to design the minimalist interior, accessed via a copper-clad entrance.

    A total of 20 guest rooms and five suites were dressed in a muted colour and material palette featuring hardwood flooring and plush Hotta Carpet-designed rugs informed by traditional Japanese architecture.
    Paper-cord chairs and tapered washi pendant lights contribute to the minimalist designDelicate rattan partition walls delineate spaces within the rooms, which open out onto the building’s balconies that were fitted with slanted ceilings in order to encourage sunlight into each room “as if mimicking the gentle transitions of a day”.
    “It’s been an interesting journey for us to find the right balance between a space that is relaxed and vibrant at the same time,” said Norm Architects co-founder Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen.
    The interiors were designed to be both “relaxed and vibrant”The rooms are also characterised by paper-cord chairs and tapered washi pendant lights as well as abstract artworks, amorphous vases and grainy floor-to-ceiling bathroom tiles.
    On the ground floor, oak seating designed by Norm Architects for Karimoku features in the hotel restaurant, which includes a striking copper-clad pizza oven and the same rattan accents that can be found in the guest rooms.
    Rattan accents can also be found in the hotel restaurant”It is a very unique and gratifying experience in the sense that the architecture, interior and furniture, as well as the attention to detail, have created a space with such a strong sense of unity,” said Keiji Ashizawa Design.
    An open-air pool club is located on the sixth floor of the hotel.

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    Sand-blasted concrete flooring was paired with thin bluey-green tiles that make up the infinity swimming pool, which overlooks the park below.
    A “glowing” firepit can also be set alight after dark, intended to create a soothing contrast with the bright Tokyo skyline.
    The Trunk Hotel features a rooftop infinity poolThe city’s first Trunk Hotel opened in Shibuya in 2017, while the second location is an offbeat one-room hotel in the metropolis’s Kagurazaka neighbourhood featuring its own miniature nightclub.
    The photography is by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen.

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    Japanese garden design informs Tokyo real estate office by Flooat

    Lush plants and gravel beds feature in the Tokyo offices of real estate company Mitsui & Co, which local interior studio Flooat has designed to be “as stress-free as possible”.

    The workspace is located on the third floor of a 1980s office block in Chiyoda, a special district of Tokyo that is also home to the Imperial Palace.
    Flooat set out to bring new value to the outdated building, creating a working environment that could be “cherished and used for a long time”.
    Mitsui & Co’s office is set in a 1980s office block”In this project, we aimed to create a space that is considerate to both people and the environment by updating the charm of an old building and showing its new value in Tokyo, where there is a notably high rebuilding rate,” the studio told Dezeen.
    The practice was presented with a space that was dark and awkward, with a corridor running down the middle of a long, narrow floor.

    Flooat’s solution involved reducing the interior to a “skeleton” and eliminating the corridor to create a semi-open space for Mitsui & Co’s employees.
    Design studio Flooat used teak wood to line walls and floorsThe remaining walls were adjusted to a height and position that would not block any natural light.
    “The walls are constructed to match the architectural module, giving a sense of depth while dead-end flow lines have been eliminated so that the space can be viewed from various angles,” the studio said.
    “The result is a harmony of function and aesthetic with a clean, simple look.”
    The same timber was also used to clad the newly deepened window surroundsThe surrounds of the windows were deepened and lined with grainy matt-finish teak to bring warmth and character to the office while softening the direct sunlight.
    The same timber was also used to wrap around walls, floors, windows and doors.
    “To create harmony in the space, we selected trees with similar characteristics,” Flooat said. “Employees spend a lot of time in the office, so we aim to create a natural space that is as stress-free as possible.”
    Comfortable seating areas were created next to the windowsFlooat used partitions at various heights, alongside different floor levels and furniture heights to create dedicated areas for different modes of working.
    Sofas and low tables were installed close to windows, allowing visitors to sit and take in the outside world in a relaxed environment.
    Long communal tables provide space for focused work while another area serves as a lounge where Mitsui & Co’s staff can mingle with others in the building.
    “Instead of sitting in the same seat all the time, we have created an environment where people can move around, creating opportunities for communication and a natural flow of people in the office,” the studio said.

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    Different zones are demarcated via narrow tracts of gravel laid into troughs in the floor.
    “Borders are indicated in such a way as to give every area its own independence, evoking the pleasing features of a Japanese landscape garden with a tea house,” the studio said.
    “The pebble is a sign for switching spaces, a modern representation of the uniquely Japanese way of communicating signs.”
    Different floor levels and gravel beds help to delineate areasPlants with lush green foliage introduce a soft organic element to the space, providing a link to nature within the city.
    “We placed large plants on the symbolic tables where people tend to congregate,” the studio said.
    “We also considered the shadows created by the trees as an element of comfort. Organic, natural shapes also help to reduce tension and create a cosy atmosphere.”
    The natural grain of the wood serves a decorative functionA cavernous meeting room pod is set into one of the partition walls, enveloped in a grey textile surround that was chosen for its sound-absorbing qualities.
    “This gives the impression of a cave,” the studio said. “Once inside, the space gives a sense of security and allows people to concentrate on communication. It’s a place where you don’t have to worry about other people’s eyes and voices.”
    For the furniture, Flooat chose enduring design pieces that date back to before the building’s construction in 1983, in a bid to create a sense of timelessness.
    A meeting room pod is integrated into one of the partition walls”We wanted to revive the interior of an old building and choose furniture that would be appropriate for a place that will still be used in the future,” said Flooat.
    “We used furniture in the lounge space that was designed in the 1960s, for example, and is still being produced today.”
    Mitsui & Co’s office has been shortlisted in the small workplace interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards.
    Also in the running is the office of digital artist Andrés Reisinger, with surreal details that nod to his otherworldly renderings, and the library of the Cricket Club of India, which is nestled amongst tree-like wooden columns.
    The photography is by Tomooki Kengaku.

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    Akio Isshiki Architects marries old and new with Japanese home and restaurant

    Japanese studio Akio Isshiki Architects has transformed an old wooden building into a warm-toned home and public restaurant named House in Hayashisaki Matsue Beach.

    Located on a coastal street in Akashi in southern Japan, the mixed-use space was built within a 50-year-old building for a local designer and features a curry restaurant as well as residential and working spaces.
    Designed to reflect traditional Japanese dwellings, the home and restaurant are contained within a wooden building that was previously dark and separated.
    House in Hayashisaki Matsue Beach was designed by Akio Isshiki ArchitectsDuring the renovation, Akio Isshiki Architects aimed to pair existing elements with modern features to reflect the mixed-use nature of the project.
    “The house was divided into small rooms, narrow and dark,” studio founder Akio Isshiki told Dezeen.

    “It was very old and damaged, but fortunately the carpenter had done a good job, there were no leaks, and the structure was solid.”
    It is located in AkashiAccessed from the roadside, a series of circular stones form a path that leads through the planted front garden and curves to extend along the front of the building, providing access to the ground-floor restaurant.
    Here, a stepped sheltered porch features external seating and is separated from the interior space by a wide sliding glass door set in a timber frame, which offers views into the garden and can be fully opened to connect the dining space to the outside.
    The structure contains a restaurant and a homeInside, the floor has been coated with dark tiles informed by the history of the area, which was formerly a large tile producer.
    “These tiles were handcrafted one by one by tile craftsmen in Awaji, with the image of lava stone pavements seen in cities in Central and South America superimposed on the texture and edge shape,” said the studio.
    It draws on traditional Japanese homesWooden furnishings, including bespoke D-shaped chairs designed by the studio and created by a local woodworker, are arranged throughout the dining space at the front of the building.
    “To ensure stability even on uneven floors, three legs are used as a base for the chairs, and the legs are made of a thick material so that they do not fit in the joints of the Kawara tiles,” said Isshiki.
    “I aimed for a primitive design with an unknown nationality, with as simple and crude a composition as possible.”

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    Separated from the main space by an earth-toned counter, the kitchen is tucked into one side of the dining room and features walls clad in wooden panels and white tiles, along with a lighting fixture formed from two circles that hangs in the street-facing window.
    A Japanese shoji screen at the end of the dining room is the first of a series of flexible partitions throughout the home that can be pulled out to provide separation between the spaces.
    The upper floor contains private residential space”Conscious of the tropics and nostalgia, we put nets that look like mosquito nets and sudare blinds on the shoji screens,” said the studio. “The graceful plans created by imperfect partitions such as shoji and fusuma are typical of ancient Japanese architecture.”
    “In this house, where cultures, nationalities, times, and various other things are combined, I thought it would be appropriate to have the spaces partially mixed so that they could feel the presence of each other, rather than being permanently partitioned in terms of usage,” it continued.
    Wood was used throughout the interiorBuilt on a raised timber platform, the rest of the ground floor holds private rooms for the client, which are divided by shoji screens, including a traditional Japanese room that opens onto a garden.
    A home office borders the dining space, where a central black ladder leads to the floor above, while a bedroom, bathroom and utility room branch from the other side of the corridor.
    The residential space has views of the seaUpstairs, the studio added an open arrangement of dining and living spaces with warm-toned surfaces including a red wall and dark wooden beams that interact with the home’s original rustic roof structure.
    “The wall on the second floor is a scraped wall mixed with red iron oxide and finished by a plasterer from Awaji,” said Isshiki. “This is an attempt to incorporate the colourful walls of each country into architecture in a Japanese context.”
    The home has an open-plan living arrangementOther Japanese homes recently featured on Dezeen include a Tokyo home spread across two stacked volumes and a concrete home supported by a single column on Japan’s Okinawa Island.
    The photography is by Yosuke Ohtake.

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    Klein Dytham Architecture gives Fender’s first flagship store a welcoming feel

    Klein Dytham Architecture has aimed to counter rock music snobbery with its design for guitar brand Fender’s Tokyo flagship store, which is meant to feel welcoming to people who might feel judged in other guitar stores.

    The Fender store sits across the bottom four floors of the glass-walled Ice Cubes building, a 12,000-square-metre space in the neighbourhood of Harajuku that was formerly home to an H&M store.
    It is the world’s first flagship store for the 77-year-old American brand, which is one of the most recognisable names in guitars and is particularly known for electric models like the Stratocaster.
    The Fender flagship store is located in Harajuku, TokyoFor the project, Fender asked Klein Dytham Architecture to create a space that would counter the perception of guitar stores as being intimidating, particularly for women and newer players.
    It hoped the store would offer a sophisticated and immersive retail experience that would encourage leisurely browsing and communicate the brand’s heritage.

    Klein Dytham Architecture answered the brief with a store design it sees as creating “a destination of discovery”, with gallery exhibits, an event space, a cafe and a “care bar” for repairs.
    The main browsing area on the first floor features display stands made of curved woodThe first floor houses the main browsing area, which features undulating wood benches and display units that are meant to echo the curves and materials of a Fender guitar. These contours are further mimicked in the lighting above.
    The area also has custom plectrum-shaped tables where staff can place guitars they have removed from the display to show customers. Clothing racks holding the F is for Fender streetwear collection sit among the guitars.
    The second floor, which was realised in a soft grey palette, is primarily an exhibition space called the Artists Gallery.
    The second floor is the main gallery spaceHere, large-scale photos and video shows famous musicians in action, each one alongside a transparent display case housing their Fender of choice.
    There are also displays dedicated to Japanese- and American-designed Fenders respectively, and a sound-proofed Amp Room where customers can test run guitars and amps.

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    On the darker and moodier third floor, another exhibition space — the Master Builders Gallery — focuses on the work of specific craftspeople, while two VIP rooms and a custom shop are furnished with comfortable couches and provide a setting for discussing bespoke builds.
    Also on this floor is a colourful display of 400 guitar finish samples that fills the length of one wall.
    The third floor includes the Fender custom shopThe final floor is the basement, which houses an event space, cafe and the Fender care bar, and where Klein Dytham Architecture endeavoured to create a cosier feel with a plectrum-shaped rug and benches.
    Tying the floors together is a spiral staircase with a hall-of-fame-style photo gallery on the interior, as well as a three-storey-high vertical LED display on the glass facade outside that will be used for Fender-related content.
    The basement includes an event space and a care bar”Conceived as a hub and clubhouse for all things Fender, this project takes the notion of a flagship store and experiential retail to beyond the next level,” Klein Dytham Architecture co-founder Mark Dytham told Dezeen.
    Dytham started the practice with fellow Royal College of Art graduate Astrid Klein in Tokyo in 1991. Some of their recent work includes the PokoPoko clubhouse for the Risonare Nasu hotel in rural Japan and a Cartier store with an intricate wooden facade in Osaka.
    Photography by Nacása & Partners.

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