Bags of rice and bottled condiments are displayed on straightforward plywood units inside this former Tokyo greengrocers that has been converted into a small rice shop, cafe and a property for the proprietor .
The Okomeya rice store and cafe is situated inside an previous timber-framed creating in the Tokyo district of Shinagawa-ku. The sixteen.five-square-metre room has two open sides lined with plywood units that encounter onto the buying street, whilst a home for the owner is situated at the back.
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Schemata Architects was commissioned to design and style the area by Owan, a developer that has also opened a coffee store and cafe on the same street. According to the architects, the retailers sits on what was once a prosperous retail street total of independent shops, but has recently gone into decline.
“The street is more and more filled with closed shutters,” said the architects. “If no measure is taken against the declining issue, it would ultimately grow to be a so-known as ‘shutter street’ and the shopping street would disappear.”
The architects renovated the previous timber-framed creating previously occupied by a greengrocers, inserting plywood units and sanding down the present columns and surfaces right up until they matched the colour of the new fittings.
“As a outcome the overall room gained the refreshed appearance, in which the outdated and new components are almost undistinguishable,” said the architects. “The shop appears quite modest and does not stand out by itself, but we assume to raise people’s expectation by continuously renovating much more stores this way to improve the whole street.”
A wooden counter runs all around the closed sides of the shop, offering a surface for weighing rice and a serving counter for a modest kitchen.
Onigiri – rice balls often wrapped with nori – are served by means of a hatch bordering the street. A canvas covering can be pulled down when the cafe is closed.
The open storefront signifies that other nearby shop owners can keep an eye on the business if the owners require to run the occasional errand.
“Mutually supporting relationships with the neighbouring stores is the crucial to sustaining this modest shop,” explained the architects.
“Such ‘small help’ amongst stores is critical in preserving modest-sized companies on neighborhood buying streets.”
Photography is by Kenta Hasegawa.
Architect: Jo Nagasaka／Schemata Architects
Venture team: Toshihisa Aida／Schemata Architects