Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects transforms eyewear company Jins Ageo’s existing store into a contemporary, light-filled space. Joanna Kawecki writes.
Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architects transforms eyewear company Jins Ageo’s existing store into a contemporary, light-filled space.
Leading Japanese eyewear company Jins commissioned Tokyo-based architecture studio Schemata Architects to renovate their existing eyewear store and cafe in Ageo, Saitama, located just outside of Tokyo, Japan.
Celebrating the company’s 12th year anniversary, the renewal transformed the original store building to accommodate a more open and transparent structure, with the new design championing an almost entirely transparent exterior of glass and timber framing, and a new, organic structure.
Helmed by founder and director Jo Nagasaka, Schemata Architects work in the fields of architecture, interior, industrial and product design and are recognised for their unique approach and exploration of various design materials with attention to sustainability. For the redesign, Schemata retained the original building’s brick panels and columns for the main interior structure, with the intention to emphasise the heritage of the original building.
The building features large windows that allow natural light to generously permeate the entire space. Each window panel is supported by thick wooden beams that subtly reflect a likeness to eyewear frames.
Held over a site area of 239.6 square metres, the spacious single-floor area comprises of two L-shaped blocks that are connected by a central outdoor garden space. New interior walls are offset from the original wall lines, and shelves and display furniture are designed as independent elements detached from the building.
Previously, the original wooden panels hid the courtyard and the cafe from the street. Architect Jo Nagasaka explains, “We removed the exterior walls and installed Low-E paired glass to initiate the view towards the beautiful courtyard from the street, while creating an impressive display of their extensive eyewear products highly visible from the street.”
Schemata collaborated with design duo Ryosuke Uehara and Yoshie Watanabe of Kigi to create the signage and graphic-heavy interior walls and tables that add colour and energy into the space. Overall, all the new elements come together to created a space of contemporary relevance.