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New Store Space and Art Coordination

We proposed and realized a new sweets shop in Ashiya for its spatial configuration, store name, and design ofthe third store of "Mochi - Shizuku.” Shizuku is based in Kishiwada and their cafe is in Shinmachi, Osaka.


With the concept of "aiming for sweets are the best of all medicines," we focused on the primitive building method of Hanchiku (rammed earth) to express the philosophy of making rice cakes with natural ingredients. Just as grains of sugar, salt, and rice flour take shape in the palm of the hand to form sweets, the natural particles of soil were pushed together to form a table, which became the ground on which the various sweets to be made would be laid out, and the space was composed around a place where everyone could gather around a table. 


The table consists of 16 layers of 13 tons of soil at different heights, and because of the excessive pressure exerted on the soil by the mechanical method, it was made entirely manually by artisans, just as people did in the past, by poking with sticks and stepping on with their feet, one or two layers being carefully built each day.


We renovated the newly constructed three-story building on the first floor, and the table is 4.65 x 2.8 m, 90 cm high; the floor is finished with Tataki (hard-packed soil floor,) the same clay, and the wall and ceiling are plastered, so that the sweets are laid out in a natural space, all made of earth. 


Our ancestors lived in direct contact with the earth's soil with their bare skin. By offering the experience of encountering sweets while touching the table as if the earth had risen directly from the ground, we aimed to release the body's electricity to the ground like Earthing, so that when people leave the store, people will feel lighter than when they entered, and the space itself will be part of the medicines.


We proposed the name of the space, "上 (Sho)", based on Mr. Ishida’s vision to create an art space different from the two existing stores. The etymology of the Chinese character for "上" is that the horizontal line represents a palm, with the palm facing upward. Shizuku (drops) descending from the heavens, neither forward nor backward, form a puddle on the ground, aim upward, and eventually become a hope and a drop. We hope that the store will be a showcase for the thoughts of Shizuku, and we asked Yoshihisa Tanaka to design the signage and new packaging materials, replacing the letterforms with modern forms that were used in China shortly after Qin Shi Huangdi used the printing technique to build the Great Wall in BC. 


The sign digging into the wall and the use of paper mixed with soil for packaging further enhance the space and unify it. This project is designed to convey to the people who eat the sweets and the space the wish of Mr. Ishida that the nourishment they receive from the soil beneath their feet will nourish their bodies and souls and become the energy they need to look upward and live.

Client: Mochi - Shizuku

Space and art planning and coordination: WATER AND ART

Construction: Nishiguchi Kenso/ Supervision: Atelier Kokonoma

Plastering: Nakasu Plasterer


Mounting: Fujita Gasodo

Sign and packaging design: Yoshihisa Tanaka (Centre)

Sign construction: Atelier Tuareg 

Special thanks to dot architects and Sumi Hayashi

Total floor area: 57.68 m2 

Main structure: RC

Address: 10-9 Chayano-cho, Ashiya-shi, Hyogo 659-0067

Business hours: 11:00-18:00, closed Tuesdays


Photo: Noboru Morikawa

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