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Snow Picnic Ice Cream Store by Torafu Architects, Tokyo


Japanese studio Torafu Architects has redesigned the interior of this colorful ice cream store in Tokyo’s Nakano ward. The entrance features a glass facade stretching the whole frontage facing the street while the floor layout features three landings of different heights that lead to the highest point at the back of the shop. Here can be found the preparation counter that acts as a kitchen and a stage for the performance which can be seen from the street and whereby smoke is produced using liquid nitrogen.


By varying the floor finishing in each area using flooring, linoleum and vintage tiles that extend all the way to the street, one small space was turned into three distinct ones. Moreover, by using chairs of different sizes, it is possible to sit all around the table straddling these different areas in the middle of the store. Customers can also choose their favorite spot from cantilever tables seating two and a sofa placed next to the glass entrance.


Furthermore, the bright tones of the store’s interior contrasting with the toilet and back store areas painted in black, the table in the middle that features the same tile finishing of the floor in the front, the existing wooden columns mended using wooden plugs, and the soft-tones on the walls switching at an angle like sunlight entering from above, etc., are all designed to strike a balance between new and old materials and colors alike.


The result is a cozy and inviting lounge filled with plants that will serve as a showcase for the store’s unique gelato preparation method, while presenting the aspect of a laboratory with white smoke spilling from the black counter.

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all images TAKUMI OTA – courtesy of TORAFU ARCHITECTS