Shima-Shima Cafe

Shima-Shima Cafe

LEVEL Architects
Tokyo, Japan
Project Year
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LEVEL Architects

Shima-Shima Cafe

LEVEL Architects as Architects

This project, located near Takaido Station in the Suginami-ward on the western side of Tokyo, is a café which was renovated from one of the first floor rooms of an eleven-story apartment building. The apartment building is located roughly 1.5meters above the road and so when looking up at the café, the ceiling is the main focus of attention. This key point is what propelled the design to be born from the idea that the ceiling is to become one of the facades.

The available area is a mere 33.1 square meters, and once the kitchen and utility spaces were taken out, less than 20 square meters were left for the customer seating. The question was how do you give each seating area, in such a small space, a unique characteristic different from its close neighbors. The solution came in the form of utilizing the originally interested ceiling and creating individual squares with different ceiling heights imbedded into the ceiling. Each imbedded square was then painted a different color with their own lighting, creating a somewhat designated space to each table which resides under them. Rather than resort to confining walls to separate the customer space, manipulating the ceiling heights and color created this ambiguous boundary which was desired.

This façade which divides the seating area is the face and image of the Shima Shima Café. The ability for the customers to choose their seating according to mood and color is what comes to mind when thinking of the café.

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Project Credits
Huaxin Tiandi Campus in Shanghai
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Huaxin Tiandi Campus in Shanghai

Shanghai, China - Build completed in 2020
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