Snøhetta, an international architectural and designing firm with its headquarters situated in Oslo and Norway. It is founded by architect Kjetil Traedal Thorsen, alongside Christoph Kapeller and Craig Edward Dykers. This firm not only focuses on architectural design but also on branding, product design, interior design like all-black interior, graphic design, and landscape designing. This design firm also has its design studios in Paris, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Innsbruck, and Adelaide with a staff of 240 people.
They have received various awards like Aga Khan Award, World Architecture Award, Mies van der rohe Awards, Great Place Awards, European Prize for Public Spaces, and many more.
Snøhetta established its first-ever project in Japan in the city of Tokyo in 2020. Enone Tokyo is the client of Burnside. In Snøhetta, culture is considered an important element in the design process. While designing for Burnside restaurant, collaboration took place between a local architecture firm called Kooo architects and Snøhetta. Along with Kooo architects two other designers Ghetto Gastro, Devon Turnbull, and Makoto Azuma. Ghetto Gastro collaborated with Snøhetta in order to create music.
In 2020, Snohetta proposed a restaurant in the city of Harajuku. The city of Harajuku is known for its pop culture and food culture. This street is one of the busiest streets in the city of Tokyo, usually crowded with young Japanese. On the second floor of the Family Mart, Burnside is designed. Burnside is a cafe and lounge in an area of 92 sq.m.
Snohetta as a 30+ years old firm follows a design philosophy where it considers traditional handicraft, culture, background, of a site a starting point in evolving the design. Harajuku’s food culture is known for its culinary art and Snohetta proposes to encourage this art.
Bodegas from New York also known as conbini in Japanese are an important design element, shared between Tokyo and Bronx. This shared quality of both the cities is seen at the takeaway. Other than the bodegas, a monochrome color schemed interior is designed. This mixture of Bodegas and monochrome interiors gave the diners a different experience. A black-colored interior with textured dark ombre wood further enhances the interiors. This dark ombre wood is a Japanese architectural element known as Shou Sugi Ban Timber.
This space functions as a cafe in the broad daylight, converting itself into a bar, lounge at night. The dynamic street life of the city is the driving force behind this idea. The interiors reflect the street life.
The idea behind was to have a busy cafe, eatery during the day, and a lounge, restaurant, and bar by the night. To achieve this idea, Japanese Conbini was designed which let daylight along with day life enter the space. These windows at night brought the street life inside, making it into a bustling restaurant, lounge, and bar.
The U – shaped layout of the restaurant, with raised kitchen, is the arrival in the cafe. The kitchen top is connected to the long pass table in the center, transitioning into the seating area from the preparing area. This raised platform is considered a method of displaying culinary art being performed by the chef. This cafe has a flexible open layout that challenges the idea of a closed kitchen in restaurants and cafes. The architect explains this as the front of the house and the back of the house.
This space which connects the dining and kitchen is at an intersection of two arched roofs. This continuous space also allows flexibility within the layout, which lets the cafe sitout become a dance floor at night. The layout is designed in such a way that at a time it can cater to a group of 30 people on a table. A pass table is the transitional space between the dining and cooking space and is the heart of the kitchen space.
With cooking and culinary being considered as an important piece of art, an open kitchen displaying the skill of smoke and fire. The chef’s culinary techniques here are on a display for the diners. Handmade sound systems for the bar were designed by Ghetto Gastro. This helps the future chef to adapt and accommodate new technologies in the kitchen.
Behind the bar counter, a series of coloured accents called block flowers, a floral sculpture was designed specifically for the restaurant. This mural was designed by Japanese artist Makoto Azuma, along with the ceiling lights. These lights represent the Japanese grill.