Aoba-tei Restaurant

Construction year: 2005
Address: Aoba-ku, Kokubunchō, 2 Chome−13 | SENDAI | Japan
Latitude/Longitude: 38.2651093, 140.8675267

This French restaurant is located in the existing office building which faces a famous street for its beautiful zelkova trees. Space consists of a street-level reception, waiting for space and upstairs dining room, bar, and kitchen. In this restaurant, we were attempting to design a soft boundary surface, by inserting an inner wall made of thin steel plates within a French restaurant that faces Jozenji street in Sendai city, we were attempting to design a soft boundary surface that spatially mediates between the first and second floors of the existing building, and links the inner space of the restaurant with the space defined by the famous roadside zelkova trees that symbolize Sendai.

The 2.3 mm thick metal plates that constitute the inner wall were perforated with hundreds of thousands of holes. These holes were pierced using a numerically-controlled turret, in sizes of 4mm, 6mm, and 9mm at a spacing of 15mm, following a digitized image of a zelkova tree that was decomposed and reassembled by computer. Lights have been installed behind the inner wall, thereby reconstructing the light and shade of the roadside zelkova trees in the interior space. Using a low-resolution digital camera, these “graphic holes” give rise to a realistic image of the actual trees. Thinking about it, the reproduction of an image by accumulated points of light is actually an extremely archaic technique. The inner wall is in this sense a materialized image that acts as a boundary surface connecting two physically separate locations: the space of the shop interior.

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