Japan 2019Sakai Riverside Restaurant Cha-Gura
Sakai-machi is the first exporter of a Japanese tea called Sashima-cha (green tea from Sashima) to the world. With the theme of tea, we designed a restaurant which is run by the town on the banks of Tone River, in Ibaraki Prefecture.
We first constructed a planter from local cedar, for growing tea. These planters were laid out in varying angles to express an organic expression across the façade, and connect to the existing roadside station. Rather than designing the restaurant as a single building, we aimed to reproduce the architectural rhythm of Sakai-machi, where old warehouses once lined the river.
Inside the restaurant, we collected old tea boxes of Sashima-Cha to create walls and service counters. From the ceiling we suspended fabric dyed green with Sashima-cha, as a way to introduce the softness and freshness of the tea into the interior.