ETHICUS theleema doubles as a café and gallery space
ETHICUS theleema is a renovated café located within a holiday home in the japanese prefecture of shizuoka. at the client’s request, architect wataru tanabe completed the interiors as a multifunctional hub for neighboring residents to gather around and local ceramic artists or artisans to exhibit their works. with a total floor area of only 48 sqm, wataru merged both functions of the space (café + gallery) into one L-shaped, open-floor, and white cubic room that can alter its functionality as needed. the only visible separator within the space is a step that loosely divides the interiors into the entrance and back area.
all images © hideki makiguchi
free-form layout + natural lighting respond to the dual function of the interiors
wataru tanabe’s design of ETHICUS theleema stands out with its newly-added openings that bring in daylight and its free-form objects made of logs, natural stones, and mortar lumps. placed at strategic spots and regular intervals across the space, the architect kept the objects in ‘neutral’ shapes to serve different functions that respond to the café’s multifunctional nature. indeed, they can either serve as tables and chairs or display fixtures that hold exhibition pieces. the various layouts punctuating the café, together with custom wooden stacking stools and cushions, create an experience that invites discovery, free-form style, and change at every visit.
combined together, the various layouts and objects create an experience for discovery and change at every visit
custom wooden stacking stools and cushions are spread across the café
a step loosely divides the interiors into the entrance and back area