While only 52 square metres in size, Japanese dessert shop Amai Hana manages to deliver a hefty dose of ambiance along with its sculptural and delicate sweets, thanks to an inspired scheme by local architecture and design firm Z. River Studio. Wanting to create a “pleasant atmosphere for enjoying Japanese sweets,” principals Zakhar Zibrov and Diana Zibrova infused the confectionery with saccharine pink and warm honey-toned woods, a palette fitting for the confectionery whose name translates to “sweet flower.”
Adding to the allure, the duo devised a stunning ceiling installation that runs throughout the entire space. Comprised of 4,290 white-painted wooden dowels arranged with lengths varying between 15 and 35 centimetres, the effect is akin to, as Zibrov puts it, the chaotic and rhythmic nature of a bamboo grove. In the small shop, the undulating effect provides both a sense of movement and texture.
To introduce an even stronger tactility, Zibrov and Zibrova carried the ceiling treatment onto the walls, covering the upper portions with the dowels, where they provide a ribbed-like quality. Contrasting this are smooth veneered walnut panels on the lower wall portions and glossy pink polished polymer flooring.
A white-upholstered, low-slung bench with bolsters runs the length of one wall. Paired with clear glass and mirrored pyrex tube 2001 side tables by BD Barcelona and transparent polypropylene Snow chairs from Pedrali, it creates a communal spot to sit and linger over tea and desserts. Anchoring the back of the shop is the glass-fronted sweets cabinet coated in the same finish as the floor.
Tucked in a nook created by a curved portion on the opposite wall are two high-backed Cala armchairs from Kettal, with their red-painted woven rope and aluminum frames injecting a sculptural note. Small wall-hung glass planters provide a hit of greenery to the room. Since the front wall is made entirely of glass, the space is flooded with natural light and so little was needed in the way of illumination. To that end, the designers used Matteo Cibic’s white acid-etched Pom Pom suspension lamp for Calligaris over the counter and Vibia‘s Funnel wall lights that radiate softly above the banquette.