Dezeen Magazine

Wooden cart in industrial interior setting

2m26 references traditional food carts for mobile all-in-one ramen restaurant

Kyoto-based architecture and design studio 2m26 has created a compact, movable restaurant from locally-sourced Hinoki cypress timber.

2m26 designed the cart to accommodate both chef and cooking equipment as well as up to four diners, with the aim of using it in rural areas in Japan as a unique dining experience.

Wooden cart in industrial interior setting
The cart can shelter four diners and a chef

The design was based on vernacular Yatai food karts, which have been used on public walkways and in the markets of Japan since the Edo period between the 17th and 19th centuries. In this context, food was prepared and brought to the karts where people dined on both sides.

2m26 wanted the design to differ from these traditional venues by having diners share the space with the person preparing the food, allowing the process to be experienced and appreciated first hand.

Wooden cart in industrial interior setting
Both the table and roof extend

The structure houses facilities for both cooking and dining, including storage for ingredients, cooking implements, kitchenware, gas canisters and stools, which can all be stowed within the body of the cart when not in use.

"Inspiration came from old yatai [movable ramen restaurants], mixed with our desire to present the chef cooking," 2m26 told Dezeen.

"We opened up the table top to display the ingredients and cooking gestures as a living landscape."

Wooden cart in industrial interior setting
A wheel on either side and a bar at the end allow it to be moved between locations

The cart's cypress body was capped by a gently pitched roof and flanked by two shelving units, providing both storage and privacy.

A metal frame wraps around the cart and contains the housing for two large wheels as well as the bar for manoeuvring it between locations.

The tabletop features extendable sides, allowing more counter space for food preparation as well as increased table space for customers.

The pitched roof can also be extended, providing both shade from the sun and protection from the rain.

Wooden cart in industrial interior setting
It is made out of Hinoki cypress wood

The studio designed the kart for Cean Hayashi Geronimo, who runs similar outdoor dining experiences in the mountains of Utah.

"He wants to keep installing yatai in landscapes and offer ramen to anyone," the studio told Dezeen. "It is more performing art piece than a business – he often doesn't ask money in exchange for ramen."

Detail of wooden cart in industrial interior setting
All cooking implements, ingredients and stools can be stored within it when not in use

Architects Mélanie Heresbach and Sébastien Renauld founded 2m26, which works out of offices in Kyoto, Japan and Nancy, France.

Other recent projects based in Japan that use wood as a primary material include an office in Nagoya City punctuated by thick vertically-orientated logs by Tomoaki Uno Architects and the headquarters of a sweet company in Hamamatsu City that features giant tables and chairs by Nikken Sekkei.

The photography is by Yuka Miki.

More images and plans

Detail of wooden cart in industrial interior setting
Detail of wooden cart in industrial interior setting
Elevation drawing of front of cart
Elevation drawing of side of cart