MORI-TOYO Udon Restaurant / atelier N

Architects: atelier N
Area: 130 m²
Year: 2023
Photographs: Kai Nakamura
Design: Hiroshi Nakamura
City: Koshigaya
Country: Japan

The Udon Restaurant, a dining establishment designed by atelier N in Koshigaya, Japan, establishes a connection with the area’s natural and historical backdrop, notably the remaining rice fields. This project redefines traditional architectural elements by integrating basic structural forms with contemporary aesthetics, ensuring alignment with the serene environment. The strategic layout enhances natural ventilation and offers panoramic views, creating a unique dining atmosphere that embodies a thoughtful synthesis of shape, functionality, and setting.

Mori-toyo udon restaurant / atelier n

This project is set in a residential area near Lake Town, Koshigaya City, Saitama Prefecture, where vestiges of rice fields hint at the area’s agricultural past. A plan for constructing a udon restaurant here was developed. Adjacent to the site, the presence of a rice field shapes the building’s layout and floor plan, which follows the rectangular configuration of the neighboring fields. The building extends 27 meters in length with a narrower width of 4,550 mm.

From inside, diners can appreciate expansive views of the rice fields, enhanced by the directional flow of wind from south to north through the structure, which accentuates the natural movement of the rice. The building’s construction was approached with minimal alterations to preserve its basic, assembled form. The floor is composed of 400mm thick concrete treated with a surface hardener and then texturized.

Structurally, the foundation, pillars, and beams are left visible, and glass elements delineate the interior from the exterior without additional modifications. Prior to assembly, the components were treated with oil stain for water resistance. This fundamental approach ensures the building integrates seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, maintaining the area’s peaceful ambiance. Around the exterior, approximately 300 cedar pillars measuring 90 mm square and 3 meters in length encircle the building, functioning as louvers and visually recalling giant noren curtains.

Inside, the restaurant presents an open space that contrasts with its exterior, offering views of rice fields. This setting allows guests to enjoy udon and tempura in a relaxed environment. The approach to the building is through wooden louvers from a deliberately unpolished gravel parking area, leading into an ambiance where the sounds of patrons resonate against the concrete and wooden structure. The space directly faces a rice field, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Mori-toyo udon restaurant / atelier n
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Project Location

Address: Koshigawa, Saitama Prefecture, Japan

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