ISSUE 89  |  Get Organized

Living Above the Shop: Scandinavian Sundries in Tokyo

September 11, 2013 7:00 PM

BY Alexa Hotz

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A small business is a labor of love. And for shopkeepers, that often means that the line between work and home life is blurred. So why fight it? That was the thinking of a shop owner in Tokyo and his architects (Osamu Nishida, Hirotaka Isshiki and Rei Yanai of ON Design); together, they created the ultimate live/work space.

Fika, located in Nagasaki, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, is a weekend shop that functions as the owner’s residence during the week. Fika’s owner has a strong connection to Scandinavian sundries and was looking to display his goods in a commercial space that felt more like a rotating private collection; a place where customers could connect with the items. Loosely translating to “coffee break” in Swedish, Fika has an upstairs and downstairs kitchen, so customers can see the kitchen products in use.

Photography by Koichi Torimura via This Is Paper.

Above: ON Design maximized the 355-square-foot plot of land with a tall and thin building.

Above: A private entrance is located around the back of the shop.

Above: The two-story building features a high-rise shelf that, on the lower level, functions as display and on the second floor, as shelving for the private residence.

Above: Woven birch baskets, clothespins, antique silver, and the classic dala horse are some of the many accessories on the shop shelves.

Above: An upstairs loft and compact outdoor deck for the shopkeeper.

Above: Upstairs furniture and tableware are used by the owner and later displayed on shelves downstairs (marked as second \-hand pieces).

Above: The long commute: a lofted attic bed is just upstairs from the shop.

Above: A view from the exterior through a window as tall as the shop’s main shelving.

Looking for more architecture in Japan? See Akasaka Shinichiro Atelier in Japan, Transparent Living by Sou Fujimoto Architects, and 10 Favorites: Smart and Skinny Houses in Japan.