craftsmanship meets industrial aesthetics in a cozy café in kyoto


a leisurely stopover for travelers in Kyoto city

Coil Kazuteru Matumura‘s latest project sees the renovation of a traditional Japanese townhouse into a ‘comfortable stopover’ for travellers Kyoto city. Located just a 5-minute walk from Kiyomizu Gojo Station, ‘Kyoto Wand’ occupies a corner lot overlooking a wide street, inviting tourists to relax and take a break from their culturally busy day. Kyoto City is a popular travel destination and an ideal mountainous environment for sports activities. With this project, the design team wanted to enrich travelers’ stay in the city and offer them a welcoming place of relaxation where they can exchange information and experiences. “Kyoto Wand” is a meeting point that serves food and drinks but goes beyond the ordinary coffee shop as it provides facilities such as showers and lockers for people to freshen up and store their belongings.

all images by Yoshiro Masuda

‘Kyoto Wand’ is more than just a typical one coffee shop

Structurally, then, the original structure had undergone several renovations The team had to disassemble it down to the original structure. They worked to repair, strengthen, and remodel the building to create a cozy space that celebrates Kyoto’s elegant cityscape. The project was planned with great attention to a harmonious balance between repair and reinforcement, and renewal only where necessary. Externally, the design team removed the ruined brick facade while restoring the eaves and redesigning the connection to the neighboring houses. Floor-to-ceiling openings break through the corner building, expanding the boundaries between inside and outside and creating a visual connection to the surroundings. At certain times of the year, the sliding doors can be opened and form a semi-open living area. Along the driveway, carpenter Masaaki Okimoto built a bench from half-sawn chestnut logs that achieved a strong natural material feel.

Upon entering the structure, a reception area takes shape, after which one encounters the kitchen, a collection counter with return area, a bench with side seating and a table for four in front of a small garden. A toilet, lockers and shower room are located at the rear of the building. For the Japanese studio, “Kyoto Wall” unfolds as a meeting point where people from different backgrounds meet and exchange ideas. “We envision this being a meeting point, akin to a bay that absorbs the city’s flow.” in a cozy café in the city of kyoto, craftsmanship plays with industrial looks

a perfect juxtaposition of handwork and industrial parts

a perfect juxtaposition of craftsmanship & industrial aesthetics

In terms of materiality, the architects took advantage of the existing beams, pillars and earthen walls and gave them new life in ancient expressions. The indigo colored wooden panels are placed symbolically in the middle and adorn the kitchen area. The coloring of these wooden panels was realized in collaboration with the artist Yuko Yamamoto, who specializes in coloring plants and trees. The wall surface is characterized by an uneven state of coloring, resulting in a patterned presence. Traditional Japanese washi paper was applied to the counter, changing its texture into a unique work of art. Trivalent chrome steel sheet is used as a finish for the ceiling and walls in the kitchen, which is a film treatment typically used for the invisible parts of industrial products. The color of the material changes depending on the viewing angle. The combination of artisan craftsmanship and the industrial parts creates a perfect juxtaposition of the eccentric materials.

The upper floor is created between the existing beams and the attic covered by new white walls. This level usually serves as a more secluded seating area. The tables and chairs can be disassembled and stacked for easy storage in the warehouse. The area can serve as an event space for gallery exhibitions, reflecting ideas about the artist’s work. Working with a group of artists and designers, the team improved the interior and added a more artistic touch. Pendant lights by glass artist Ryo Sekino float above the staircase; Pendant lights by Takayuki Daikoku are installed in the garden, sculptures by Takayuki Daikoku can also be found there, and photographs by Yasumi Kakimoto hang on the walls. The furniture, including the tables and chairs on the first and second floors, was designed by Potitek’s Naomi Toda. The bookshelves and countertops were designed by Lenogu’s Yuto Sasaki.

in a cozy café in kyoto, craftsmanship plays with industrial impressions An expressive wall surface is the protagonist of the kitchen


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