The Kengo Kuma and Associates studio has captured the gentleness of wood in one of its latest projects: a new shop for the Sunny Hills trademark located in the Aoyama district in Tokyo that is specialised in selling popular Thai pineapple cakes.
The design is inspired by traditional Japanese bamboo baskets which shape the establishment’s exterior and walls. Architects used several criss-crossed boards to create a pretty unconventional wooden structural framework.
This contrived effect was achieved thanks to the ‘Jigoku Gumi’ building system which is a traditional method, used by carpenters and craftsmen for generations. Wood boards are entwined together without any glue or nails. This system was a real challenge during the design and construction phases and took approximately a year.
The gaps between the intertwined wood pieces allow natural light to shine through whilst maintaining the building’s privacy. Wood is also found inside the building as most of the elements in this spectacular shop, such as the tables and desks are made of the same material.
This 300 square metre establishment which spreads over different floors makes you feel as if you are in the woods although you are actually in the middle of the city. Its creators aim to break away from the other typical cement buildings which surround the residential area.
Photos: Daici Ano