Yusuke Seki represents Kyoto’s burgeoning internationalism at Bake
KYOTO – On any given day, the number of people on Kyoto’s streets is nearly double that of the city’s residents. In turn, one of the city’s major drawcards – tradition – is adapting to an international stage. Taking this scenario into account, Yusuke Seki – known for his simple yet potent displays – crafted Bake, a patisserie with origins in the dairy-farming tradition of Hokkaido. The outlet – which is located in a Kyoto shopping district – makes, bakes and sells the brand’s signature pastry: cheese tart.
Once they leave the open kitchen at the store’s rear, pastries are displayed on a counter made from Lego. Materials were chosen following Seki’s experimentation with local versus global. ‘This architectural fabric serves as the shared language of communication between those whose spoken language may differ,’ says Seki. ‘Its appeal is universal, intuitive, and its attraction felt by nearly every generation. It evokes a sense of intimacy, creating a moment that connects people to this space.’
Meanwhile, the retail area incorporates shitaji mado, a lattice framework technique traditionally used in the construction of Japanese teahouses. When working with shitaji mado, local artisans determine the grid’s dimensions; each one is therefore unique. As the original walls are partly visible through the framework, the feature allows ‘customers to interact with a new iteration of tradition, while simultaneously encouraging an interaction with the older exterior wall cladding’, says Seki. ‘The store is thereby given a firm sense of place, reverberating with a reverence for the region.’
Photos Takumi Ota