Niji Architects

Cafeteria . Ushimado

Niji Architects . photos: © Masafumi Harada/Niji Photo

This cafeteria is a timber framed, single-story building located in Ushimado of Setouchi city, Okayama prefecture, Japan. It serves as a canteen for a local construction company as well as a cafeteria for the local community.

The building structure and its finishes are kept simple and the presence of the building is kept to a bare minimum. The building design focuses mainly on its primary function as a cafeteria for the local people and to familiarize itself to the community.
The folded metal plate roof is directly fixed to the 3m grid timber structural frame, which consists of 120-millimeter-squared timber used for columns, foundation, bracings and 180 millimeter by 120 millimeter timber beams. The building completes itself with glass walls, which are fixed directly to the timber structure with timber battens.
The detailing and materials are intentionally designed to appear unrefined, to create a relaxing atmosphere that helps visitors to unwind within the space. With a single large internal space and full aperture to the external views, this highly transparent building becomes a bright, open, and inviting cafeteria.
We believe this construction method can also be used for other building types. It can be a prototype of new prefabricated timber construction with endless possibilities for further development.

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