Blue Bottle Coffee Kiyosumi Shirakawa is a minimalist space located in Tokyo, Japan, designed by Schemata Architects. Blue Bottle Coffee Kiyosumi Shirakawa Cafe, which is BBC’s Japanese flagship store opened in 2015, originally served also as the company’s headquarter and roastery. After building a new roasting factory in order to facilitate further store expansion in Japan, they decided to eliminate the roastery function and expand the cafe. In addition, the seating area was redesigned to facilitate a new “order-and-pay-at-table” service exclusively offered at the flagship store. A new take-out counter was also installed to facilitate a new “takeout-only” service. In order to increase customers’ interest in coffee, “C-bar” where a coffee concierge provides brewing tips and information regarding different types of coffee beans among others, and coffee counter seats where customers can directly talk with baristas and see them brew coffee in front of them were installed. Customers can also observe through windows baristas engaged in training sessions in the kitchen in the back of the building. In terms of materiality, the existing cafe, mainly composed of grey-painted steel and laminated strand lumber (LSL), originally had a distinct industrial atmosphere. We added a touch of warmth by adding furniture pieces made of oak and finishing the seating area floor with tinted epoxy resin.
Photography by Takumi Ota
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