— f s o a r k

The Cafeteria




In an Nōgaku 能楽 theatre, the stage is constructed as an independent roofed structure within a generic performance space, not dissimilar to how a wooden altar is enshrined within the temple. With no proscenium and curtain, the stage and the upstage bridge are completely open to view, blurring the line between inside and outside, the spectators and the spectated. The sense of “oneness” unique to this classical Japanese dance-based drama is further reinforced by the fact that the actors share the stage with the musicians, the chorus and the stagehands throughout the performance. By means of positioning, lighting and colours, a subtle hierarchy of the roles of various performers is established.

We apply the principles of the Nōgaku theatre to the design of a 130-seat cafeteria, asking ourselves the possibility of instilling an overarching ambience that brings together all occupants – including the customers and three different food vendors – to share a unified spatial-gastronomic experience. To that end, we propose an open kitchen presented as a horizontal scroll along the entire length of the cafeteria.  This “stage” is framed by the wood slat ceiling above, and dark granite floor below.  A line of illumination hovering above the serving counter highlights the shared moment when the chefs and the customers are brought simultaneously into the play.


Cafe Interior-2 600x400

Cafe Exterior 600x400

Cafe Interior-1 600x400

CAFE 2017-02-07 IC