Bandesign clad the gables of a Japanese cafe in mirrors

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Bandesign clads a Japanese cafe in mirrors to reflect a row of cherry trees

A bank of cherry blossoms are mirrored in the reflective gables of this cafe that angles around a smaller tree in Gifu, Japan, by architecture studio Bandesign (+ slideshow).

Roadside café by Bandesign

Bandesign designed the cafe, named Mirrors, for a plot by the side of a road on a tourist route. The building has two wings and looks as if it has been split in half and arranged around a single Camilla tree, which stands on a patch of white gravel with tile edging.

Roadside café by Bandesign

The mirrored gables are angled towards each other, reflecting both the adjacent tree and the cherry blossoms that line a river bank that is popular with passing tourists.

Roadside café by Bandesign

"Taking advantage of this location – Mirrors is on a riverside street and cherry blossom trees grew along the street. Mirrors reflects the cherry blossom, creating a forest and inviting visitors in," studio founder Hisanori Ban told Dezeen.

Roadside café by Bandesign

The outer facades of the single-storey building are clad in strips of white-painted steel that give the timber-framed building a traditional clapboard appearance.

Roadside café by Bandesign

Vibrant red doors positioned under a porch on each of the white facades lead into the cafe's two seating areas.

Roadside café by Bandesign

Interior walls are painted white, red and green, and customers sit under dark wooden eaves intended to resemble tree branches.

Roadside café by Bandesign

"The vertical roof struts, a motif of the tree branch, give them the feeling of resting under a tree," said Ban. "Every part of the design and colour implies being in the forest."

Roadside café by Bandesign

Wooden chairs are lined up behind counters under wide picture windows in each gable to give simultaneous views of both the reflected and real scenery.

Roadside café by Bandesign

A kitchen with a serving hatch is positioned at the back of the space, in the join between the two seating areas.

Roadside café by Bandesign

Photography is by Shigetomo Mizuno.


Project credits:

Architect: Bandesign – Hisanori Ban Terashima kazumoto
Lighting design: Koizumi Lighting technology – Atsuko Fujita
Construction company: Oribe – Daisuke Oribe

Roadside café by Bandesign
Site plan – click for larger image
Roadside café by Bandesign
Floor plan – click for larger image
Roadside café by Bandesign
Section – click for larger image