shio architect design office designed ‘sokkon 即今’ restaurant in tokyo, japan, inviting customers to experience the tea ceremony in a less formal and modern-day way. the architects generated an elevated traditional teahouse that transforms with innovative usage of space; the rooms can be adjusted to fit different combinations of conventional western-style table seating and kneeling traditional japanese-style on tatami — a type of mat used as a flooring material.elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-styleall images courtesy of satoshi asakawa

 

 

shio architects sought to create rooms that can change depending on the customers’ preferences and ongoing events in the store. there are two ways to use the ‘three tatami’ room: one is a standard japanese-style room, and the other is with tables and chairs. if one raises the ‘third tatami’ mat, a bench appears from the bottom, turning it into normal western-style seating, while tatami functions as a table with seats surrounding it. the area between three mats creates space for customers to fit their legs within. elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

 

 

upon opening the sliding door next to the front seat, a tatami bar with a ceiling finish appears. this allows the team room to morph into a bar with four tatami-style seats on which the bartender can serve cocktails to the customers. this can also serve as a waiting area for the tea ceremony or as a booth filled with mats.elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

 

 

in the modern living environment, room usage is quite strictly divided into areas such as the living room, dining room, and bedroom. in the past, the same tatami room could shift from a place to eat dinner to a sort of living room to a bedroom — simply by laying a futon down in the evening. the same approach is applied to the tea ceremonies, using both time and space within one small tea room. this strategy of space usage, which allows one to enjoy various activities within limited space, has been an element of japanese culture rediscovered in other situations like the upcoming olympic games, through reconsidering japanese architecture for more effective and efficient usage within urban areas.elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

elevated teahouse interior in tokyo morphs traditional japanese- into western-style

 

 

project info:

 

name: sokkon 即今

designer: shio architect design office

main architect: ataru shio

location: tokyo, japan

area: 54.64sqm (588.1 sqft)

 

 

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edited by: christina petridou | designboom