cicero café by ALTS design office brings the outdoors in
cicero café by ALTS design office brings the outdoors in cicero café by ALTS design office brings the outdoors in
nov 02, 2016

cicero café by ALTS design office brings the outdoors in


located in a japanese neighborhood, cicero is a charming little café developed by ALTS design office. the project was part of a renovation plan to transform an old premise that once served as a restaurant. while the existing facilities have a good horizontal extension, there was still a feeling of being oppressed when one walked into the premise. therefore, the studio decided to increase the sense of openness by introducing some external elements into the design.

ALTS design office cicero café designboom
cicero café overview – indoor plants and warm lighting give a certain lightness to the space



in the proposed cicero café plan, ALTS design office offers spaces that give the feeling of being either indoors or outdoors. this impression is created only by means of installing iron frames that divide the café without disturbing the overall environment. for example, the ‘outdoor’ section is designed with iron frames that mimic wooden birdcages — giving the impression of being outside of the building.

ALTS design office cicero café designboom
the bar, common table, and ‘birdcage’ sofa corner



this particular concept was borrowed from ‘torii’ — a traditional gateway at the entrance of a japanese shinto shrine that evokes the transitions from outdoors to indoors or from one world to another, usually more sacred. following that idea, ‘meaningful atmospheres are given to each counter seats corners, sofa seats, and table-and-chair areas’ explains ALTS design office

ALTS design office cicero café designboom
the iron frames are crafted as birdcages with furniture that evoke the outdoors

ALTS design office cicero café designboom
simple choice of materials and interior design — one language highlighted by the use of iron frames

ALTS design office cicero café designboom
indoor/ outdoors impressions

ALTS design office cicero café designboom
night view of the cicero café entrance facade



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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