NAGASAKI – For over four centuries, a rich history in the production of pottery and porcelain sustained Japan’s Hasami region’s reputation as the source of the traditional tableware. Charged with redesigning the flagship’s interior, architect Yusuke Seki literally elevates artisanal ceramics to a whole new level inside the Maruhiro flagship.
Sourced from the kiln disposal areas of local factories, nearly 25,000 ceramic pieces with imperfections made during the bisque and firing processes were collected and then cast into concrete. The cloned assortment of chipped cups and plates – known as 'Shinikiji' in their ceramic state – were stacked in a brick-like fashion to produce a platform reaching a half metre in height. Accessed with steps, the raised floor becomes the showroom, with impeccable versions of the authentic cups and bowls displayed upon freestanding wooden displays. Despite the tableware's individual fragility, the collective unit acts as a strong foundation – a symbolic message for the region's history as well as the Maruhiro brand.
Photos Takumi Ota