Considered the gateway to Tokyo, the project is located in a commercial complex near Tokyo Station. Sukiyaki Jyuniten is a restaurant specializing in sukiyaki, a traditional Japanese dish that is prepared and served in a Japanese hot pot. The name “jyuniten” refers to the Buddhist term “12 heavens” and is a reference to the 12 levels of A5 grade Japanese style beef.
Due to the layout of the fireproof compartment of the kitchen, the depth of the façade was shallow. To make use of the shallow space, the storefront was designed with sukiya-style Kitayama cedar logs and a refrigerated display case for the different cuts of beef.
The storefront was designed like a butcher shop so that people passing by could see the beef and would then circulate towards the seating areas. Further inside the restaurant, the space is designed around the central private room named Marunouchi, to create a layout for accommodating groups of guests and efficient service.
The careful selection of materials of the interior reflects the attention of detail required to properly serve the high quality A5 grade beef. Tables and counters are made from Japanese cypress. Shelves, lumber boards, cedar, pillars and girders are made from Kitayama logs. The base plates in the niche are made from wenge. The pillars are made from red pine logs with bark. Signboards are made from sanbunsugi, a specialized cedar wood that is over 250 years old. All materials that come into contact with the occupants of the space are made of solid wood.
To resolve issues with fire regulation, depth of space and shadow patterns from ceiling lights, the ceiling uses a stainless steel mesh shaped like the feathers of an arrow which give directionality to space. In the private room, hexagonal double copper mesh ceilings were used so that the ceiling and the sky seen through the windows would be visible through the copper mesh. Just as stores change over time, the restaurant’s spaces and materials will develop over time, creating a new and different atmosphere in the future.