kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'

Tottori Takahama Café: a hybrid structure stepping upwards

 

Kengo Kuma and Associates (KKAA) introduces its latest creation to the coast of Japan. Overlooking sand dunes and open waters, the Tottori Takahama Café appears as a hybrid structure of cross-laminated timber and reinforced concrete, seemingly stepping upwards like a ‘staircase to the sky’. Topping the two-story café is a viewing rooftop shaded by a sculptural wooden pergola, offering sweeping views of the landscape ahead. Ultimately, with its textured and wood-paneled exterior, the building exudes a warmth that gently blends in with the nearby dunes

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
all images © Kawasumi-Kobayashi Kenji Photograph Office, courtesy of KKAA

 

 

kengo kuma pays homage to the city’s folk crafts 

 

As an homage to Tottori, which is well-known for folk crafts (‘Mingei’) culture, the team at Kengo Kuma and Associates incorporated local craftsmanship into the café interiors. ‘Chairs are designed with cross-laminated timber, while light pendants are made of Washi paper sprinkled with local sand. The bathroom sinks are made by Nakai-gama, a Tottori Mingei pottery workshop, which uses a beautiful combination of green and black glazing,’ explains the practice. 

 

When night falls, warm-toned lighting enlivens the textured façades and rooftop pergola, adding dramatic flair to the Tottori Takahama Café without taking away the inherently intimate atmosphere that floods its spaces. 

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
at night, warm-toned lighting dramatizes the café sculptural forms

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
envisioned as a ‘staircase to the sky’

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
the wood-paneled exterior reflects the nearby dunes

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
cross-laminated timber reaching for the viewing deck

tottori-takahama-cafe-kka-designboom-full

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
second floor with chairs designed using cross-laminated timber

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
light pendants made of Washi paper sprinkled with local sand

kengo kuma designs observatory/café in japan as a 'staircase to the sky'
overlooking Tottori’s sand dunes and open waters

tottori-takahama-cafe-kka-designboom-09

ARCHITECTURE IN JAPAN (1300)

KENGO KUMA (240)

OBSERVATORY ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (134)

RESTAURANT AND CAFé DESIGN (692)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (607)

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