TCM restaurant for neighbors and students

Interior design for the student dining hall of a music college that has moved to a new location between Nakameguro and Daikanyama.

On a campus that aims to be open to the local community, the “ dining hall " plays a major role in connecting students with the local environment, and was asked to create a space where people from all walks of life could gather to " enjoy a good meal ". The main focus of the project was to create a space for people to come together. The interior was designed almost entirely by the institution, with concrete walls, aluminium border ceilings and wooden floors - too clean and hard, like a modern hospital.

Most of the building is divided into small private rooms, such as classrooms and performance rooms, and the space from the dining hall to the library is the only large interior space where one can stay without any purpose. It is such a precious space, and we thought that we should be able to enjoy the experience of the “ dining hall ", a space where we can share a table with friends we don't know, or a space where we can gather around a large table to discuss and plan our activities, regardless of food.

However, due to the relationship between the library and the shop, which are adjacent to the dining hall and have a program that switches between static and dynamic depending on the time of day, we decided to divide the space of the cafeteria itself to create a distinctive scene. Between the central pillars, a service counter (shop), a lamp wall and a condiment table are built, with aisles on either side of them, dividing the space into five main areas. The lamp wall in the centre was conceived as a partition to divide the space and as an eye-catcher in itself, in order to create a space for “ enjoy a good meal ”. A glass carboy, a container used for transporting liquids and fermentation, was used as a light source to create a “ enjoy a good meal ” space, with the flickering light transmitted and reflected through the thick glass.

Among the five areas, the serving counter side has a long table for 12 or 14 people, which can be used by one or many people at meal times, while at other times it is a spacious area where people can spend their time in relaxing space or gather to discuss issues at a large table.

On the side of the service counter there are mainly long tables for 10 people. Adjacent to the library, it serves as an entrance to the cafeteria with a ticket machine, microwave and washroom, and is an area where people can meet and talk.

The next area by the window was a relatively enclosed space, flanked by hip windows, walls and wall pillars, so we lined with high-back wooden bench seats to create a slightly enclosed valley.
On the next side of the serving counter, the brightest area of the space, a round table for four was arranged to create a flexible terrace-like space.

The long table incorporates a large sheet music motif art by the artist Teppei Soutome. Although divided by ten tables, the artwork is composed as a whole, and focuses the attention of the guests, who are often distracted in the large space, with the lamp wall on the centre of the space.
I wanted to place more long tables and less two-seater tables as much as possible, to reduce the café-like scene of eating alone at one small table. Eating alone is a proudly independent act, where no one disturbs you, where you can eat without being bothered, and we wanted to create a space where you can get and share a little time, happiness and dignity through a big table and big art.









TCM restaurant for neighbors and students

student cafeteria