A small tree grows inside Ito-biyori cafe by Ninkipen!

A large circular mirror reflects a tree planted in the centre of this Osaka cafe by Japanese studio Ninkipen! (+ slideshow).

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Ninkipen! used a variety of materials for the interior of Ito-biyori cafe to create a "simple and warm atmosphere".

"The main idea of this design is to make the atmosphere harmonise with the organic foods that are offered in the cafe," said architect Yasuo Imazu.

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The small Jabuticaba tree grows from a chunky square planter, positioned opposite the large mirror that is mounted onto a rough concrete wall.

At one end of this surface, a section of brickwork protrudes at angle into the dining space.

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On the other side, the wall is rendered with compacted soil and inlaid with a thin horizontal copper strip.

The wall perpendicular to both of these surfaces faces out onto a small terrace and a rockery garden.

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It incorporates sliding window panels that open the cafe to outside, with a wood-framed door on one side for when the glazed facade is closed.

"We changed the parking lot in front of the cafe into a garden with soil and several kinds of trees," said Imazu.

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The 67-square-metre space is populated with Danish Modernist designer Hans Wegner's the famous Wishbone chairs and Børge Mogensen's J39 seats, which are tucked beneath oak tables.

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The two-seater tables, placed in a row along the concrete wall, are each illuminated by a small pendant light dangling above.

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A conical ceramic pendant by designer Hiroyuki Nagatomi hangs above the monolithic service counter, which is topped with a glass vitrine.

Behind, a panel of horizontal southern Japanese hemlock beams supports three thin shelves and hides the kitchen, toilet and stock rooms.

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The counter and planter are made from white artificial stone, while the floor is polished concrete.

Ninkipen! also planted a tree at the centre of a hair salon in Kadoma.

Photography is by Hiroki Kawata.

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Floor plan – click for larger image
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Section – click for larger image