THEATre CAFE 5127(2010, Tokyo)


Theatre Cafe 5127 is run by the theatre group Ichino-kai and serves also as a foyer space. It has been built by the owners themselves with timber reclaimed from shelves of the previous drink storage and from dismantling of japanese style apartments in the same building. The conversion features a loop element, which starts as gate a the entrance and continues as bench, becomes a counter for tickets or drinks and finally turns into a bench again. In case of theatre performance a part of the wall, one bench and the tables can be removed to allow for more waiting space and a separate entrance for latecomers.

Although the footprint is quite small, the double height space creates a generous atmosphere. On the mezzanine level a small office is separated by translucent polycarbonate panels. Small windows allow for direct visual contact.

The back wall features a photo of Ichino-kai´s premiere performance. The spatial boundaries have been aligned with the perspective of the picture wall so that the space extends visually. Furthermore it represents the real stage, which is located right behind the wall.

It was interesting for us to use reclaimed materials, which were available on the site. Since we were asked to design simply-to-build details, we applied paint to refine the appearance of the timber. The face wood for example was painted white in the same way it is done in Japanese Temples for purifying and protecting reasons. The underside of the plywood sheets in the loop element are painted black. Furthermore we applied traditional Japanese patterns in a gold tone on reused PVC sheets as a screen in front of the toilets.

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