Surrounded by a large park which serves as a place of recreation and relaxation for local residents, and a facility for environmental education, this was a project to renovate a warehouse, more than 50 years old, into the first overseas outpost of Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco’s premier “bean-to-bar” chocolate maker.
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In the centre, the service area sits below a large volume that the architects refer to as “the cloud”. This element is clad with vertical white-painted wooden batons, and tilts up at one end to direct customers to where they can order. “The loftiness of the space with natural lighting creates a fresh openness and the cloud serves as a visual focal point to balance the space,” they said.
Using the significant ceiling height to its advantage, spatial depth and use of light was carefully planned. The open kitchen and bakery enticed customers with the smell of fresh baked goods and lively atmosphere. The floor plan went through numerous layouts to maintain visual interest, maximize seating count, and support operational function.
Similarly to the Company’s five previous outposts across Tokyo, the interior design is by local practice Schemata Architects, and is marked by an understated palette. Tuff stone is paired with timber, creating a oasis of serenity within an exceptionally busy environment. A hollow-square shaped service station is placed at the very centre, opposite an elongated bar with stools.