“Tradition is the continuity of innovation” - that is the maxim of TORAYA, the Japanese sweets company with 480 years of history.
In 2014, TORAYA in Paris, the only TORAYA shop located outside of Japan, celebrated its 35-year anniversary, and we got the chance to redesign the interior. The aim of the shop, where Toraya follows its tradition for the respect of the Japanese-oriented culture and the mind of truth, is described by Mitsuhiro Kurokawa, president of TORAYA, who sent the message “I would like you to design TORAYA as the place for a new challenge which we could predict for the TORAYA of tomorrow.”
TORAYA, since ancient times, “have made Japanese sweets with the ingredients of the land”. In TORAYA PARIS, they have also tried to make various Japanese sweets with ingredients from France.
Following on from this approach, “Making a Japanese space with the materials of this land” is the concept we chose for 'TORAYA PARIS'. We tested the space using stones and soils, and whittling wood to get the essence of the materials made by the hands of craftsmen – materials such as the hard stone of Travertine rounded off at the edge to be made smooth to touch, the wood of French Oak whittled flat to accentuate the wood grain, the plaster daubing over for blurring boundaries between the ceiling and the walls - taking out the sharp angle and instead connecting gently the light and shadow. Because we used each material's own inherent colour, we took care to keep the staid and soft atmosphere. From the entrance, we challenged the artisinal methods of construction, where we planned a big space next to the entrance to be seen as a 'salon' coated with plaster, the back space as a shaded 'tea lounge' covered with crafted wooden walls and 'atelier TORAYA' showing a part of the process of fabricating Japanese sweets.
We created original chairs and tables from the handles to the racks and used 'Kantora' (the motif of TORAYA) throughout the designs. It means that we use 'accommodation' of Japanese culture as the expression of design.
This represents the 'Spirit of Japanese-oriented culture' - designing with sensitivity and making the accommodation of the relationship against the different theory that will be fused together in the one world.
Beginning with the culture of tea, 'TORAYA PARIS' approaches a new chapter seeking 'the innovation' to the next period following 'the tradition' to pass down the spirit of the Japanese-oriented culture of Japanese sweets to the world.
Lieu: Paris, France
Date: 2014 — 2015
Surface: 230 m²
Client: Toraya France
Programme: Salone de thé
Architecte: Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane Architects, Paris