Ceramics Shop Renovation Smashes it with Minimalist Artisan Chic

Ceramics company Saikai Toki have given their showroom, shop, and cafe in Nagasaki – Oyane – a minimalist and artisan-inspired revamp, courtesy of space and product designer Kei Harada, from studio Do Do. Industry-inspired features are woven throughout the open-plan 140㎡ interior and 1150㎡ exterior, and the resulting project – which took just under eight months to complete – is a spacious and sleek showcase.

The outdoor pavilion is made from corrugated metal supported on a steel frame

Ceramics are on sale and display in Oyane across two floors inside the building, and the pavilion outside serves as a multi-purpose space for promotional markets and workshops. Muted colours are broken up with gentle wooden display shelves inside, and punctuated by blue porcelain detailing in Kei’s signature restrained style. This use of found materials is echoed in the refractory containers, called ‘boshi’ – cases used for to protect pottery during the firing process in days gone by – that are re-purposed as column decoration, display stands, and counters.

Original pottery lighting designs keep the airy space well-lit, porcelain signs by Hokkyok are used throughout, and the floor contains salvaged pieces of porcelain mixed into the concrete. This marrying of raw craftsmanship with modern design is mirrored by the shape of the main building, inspired by that of the factories typical of the town.

Windows bring natural light down into the pavilion

Project Fact File
Name: Oyane

Location: Hasami-cho, Higashi-sonogi-gun, Nagasaki
Design: Kei Harada, Do Do

Floor Area: Indoors 140㎡, Outdoors 1150㎡ (Including 25.92㎡ Restroom) 

Sign Design : Hokkyok

The Plus: Why and how did you reference the area’s artisanal history in your design?
Kei Harada:
Hasami has history and landscape that are far from ordinary, and it was very beautiful and interesting. So I thought that using rare materials,tools and scraps in a different way to that in which they were originally used – rather than creating something new – would express something richer. I visited various locations and factories in the area, and talked a lot with the local customers.

TP: Was it challenging to incorporate pottery into your design?
Because of the local tradition of professional pottery production, there was nothing difficult about it. I listened carefully to professionals throughout the design process.

OYANE PLAN メディア用 05

TP: There are many muted colours – tell us about the thinking behind the colour palette.
I wanted to use colors that present the product at its most beautiful, so the colours I used were white, mortar grey, and the other colours of the materials themselves.

TP: Where did you get the blue porcelain fragments from?
We gathered blue and white pottery waste items from several factories in Hasami.

OYANE PLAN メディア用 05

TP: Is the industrial pipe at the counter an original feature?
This is a chimney that runs from the basement floor to the rooftop, with a black frame that protects the chimney. I thought I would lave it in this position and make it part of the design of the counter.

TP: Why did you choose this particularly minimalist style?
I thought that this plan could display various products beautifully and with individuality.

Table space in the outdoor pavilion is designed to accommodate markets and workshops

Signs for the project are designed by Hokuto Fujii, from Hokkyok

Remnants of salvaged porcelain from nearby factories are set into the concrete floor

A new entrance flanked by reinforced concrete walls improves access to the basement-level shop floor

Entrance lit from within

The interior continues the pavilion’s muted colour palette

Neutral greys and whites complement the understated product designs

Original lighting design made from pottery echoes the project’s artisanal inspiration

The building’s original chimney has been incorporated into this counter top

The showroom provides a restrained space to best display Oyane’s minimalist wares

The traditional ‘boshi’ have been creatively re-purposed as furniture

Pale wood offsets the cool colour scheme

Columns of stacked ceramic bowls decorate sections of the walls inside

The new premises perfectly combine style with simplicity

Even the ‘facilities’ nod to the ceramic theme of the new design

Kei Harada’s design is in perfect tune with a long tradition of pottery in Hasami

Photos: Takumi Ota