salon des saluts | sinato

salon des saluts | sinato

‘salon des saluts’ is a small wine bistro fronting onto Seijouki Street, Nishiazabu in Tokyo.

The focal point of the design was the relation between outside and inside, between the street and the bistro.

border between inside and outside space is imaginable and transparent

The client wanted to show the inside of the bistro to the pedestrians as much as possible, however with the original glass-pane wall, you could basically see everything from the outside which would probably give a monotonous impression of the bistro. We also thought that too much direct visual contact between the pedestrians and the customers is not the most relaxing situation to enjoy wine. Considering this, we sought to create a ‘deep transparency’ by creating a three-dimensional facade.

Four small glass boxes are inserted into the street level facade, each extending beyond the building footprint.


Except for one box, which is used as a private space inside, the other boxes serving as olive court, approach and terrace are all ‘exterior’. The real boundary between interior and exterior is ambiguous as the transparent dividing line crosses the building footprint in several places. As well, the transparent ‘boxes’ have curved corners that create a mild visual distortion, giving a blurred transparency to the view outside.

Another important component of the design is the planting of asparagus, rosemary, ivy, and others, which flow through the glass boxes along the curve of the floor tiles. This gentle disruption of the building outline is like a shore and wave, emphasizing the ambiguousness of the boundary.

We hoped to design a storefront that becomes a kind of public amenity providing an enjoyable experience for not only the customer but also the people walking along the street.

useful link: salon des saluts

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floor plan

diagram 01

diagram 02

architects: sinato
location: 1-4-20-1F Nishiazabu, Minato Ward, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan
function: wine bistro
project team: Chikara Ohno (architect in charge)
lighting design: FDS
construction: ZYCC
total floor area: 53.51 m²
floor: ceramic tile, mosaic tile
ceiling: paint, walnut
wall: glass, paint, walnut, mosaic tile
completion period: October 2009
photographs: Toshiyuki Yano _ courtesy of sinato


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