When I was a child I caught some killifish and kept it in a sink. If I was in the same situation now I will by a fish tank. When a fish tank is called a fish tank it will be used as a fish tank. This is a simple concept, but the sink could have been called a fish tank as it had similar function as a fish tank. When you give a name to an object it inherits the function of the name, but if you design a place without a name then it is free to develop its own name by the occurring activities.
Café/day is located within a quiet residential area five minutes from the train station of Numazu-shi, Shizuoka. The project was to renovate two units of a Izakaya (Japanese style bar) located on a ground floor of a two story building.
In front of the building there are car parks, a road, and a driving school and it felt like the road continued forever. When observing the driving school, there were a lot of yellow cars and even the poles that configured the driving lane was yellow. The color yellow was very influential and the surrounding feature influenced the design the café.
The plan was to make the two units of Izakaya into one big space by demolishing the party wall and to selectively demolish parts of the wall to open up the space. The counter, lighting fixtures, and fixed furniture were painted a single color to make it abstract and erase the name of Izakaya from the space. The only new material that was used was asphalt for the flooring. It was continued into the shop with white lines marking the boundaries between the interior and exterior. The café was able to establish itself as a truly open café.
The furniture also incorporates characteristics of the outdoor space. The bench was designed to mimic a bus stop bench and for the sofa, the car seats were modified and changed to become a sofa. We designed the space so that the bar counter becomes book shelves, and the Izakaya itself to a café and the activities of gathering, talking and drinking coffee made the it more like a café.
We used power of names in a paradoxical manner and found a new approach, a design process in renovation works. We would like to start with no names in the process of designing in the future.