©Kengo Kuma & Associates

Japan 2011Bama Lohas Café

Interior | Retail/Cafe/Restaurant

Bama is a village located in Bama Yao Autonomous Country in Guangxi, China that is inhabited by the Zhuang people who are known for their longevity. Life in this village has remained unchanged for the last several hundred years, where the primitive majestic natural landscape is interspersed with farmland and houses. I was requested to design a new type of resort that is integral with the earth.
I took on the challenge of aggressively bringing the reality of Bama into Ginza which is completely different.

First, I used a bamboo blind as a filter to block out the bustle of Ginza to keep it from coming into Bama. I utilized old concrete forms and scaffolding for the floors, counters and walls. The lamp shades were made by drying corn leaves and assembling them by hand like a waistcloth for a native costume is made. All of the fittings, fixtures and furniture were made by repurposing various items that we obtained by chance at local markets and homes in China.

Bama Lohas Café was closed on 28th May, 2013

Team Makoto Shirahama*, Shuhei Kamiya* Facility Kankyo Engineering Publication Shoten Kenchiku 2011/04