All images courtesy of Keiji Ashizawa Design
Since opening its London flagship in 1973, The Conran Shop has been a go-to destination for all things contemporary design. And in their latest chapter, the curated shop welcomes you to its new space in Hillside Terrace, a relaxing village of shops and boutiques in the Daikanyama neighborhood of Tokyo. Architect Keiji Ashizawa, responsible for the interior design of The Conran Shop, described Daikanyama as “a very calm neighborhood” amid bustling Tokyo, and his vision was to create a store that offers respite from the city.
The shop combines the sophistication of retail, the intrigue of a gallery, and the calm ambiance of a tea bar. Ashizawa’s design adapts the distinct character and function of two distinct spaces within the building. The ground floor, abundant in natural light, offers a visual connection to the busy street and the serene inner courtyard, inviting exploration. The basement floor is like a quiet and contemplative sanctuary.
The store’s layout is designed to spark curiosity, with objects strategically placed out of clear sight. It’s similar to stepping into a friend’s house for the first time, where each corner holds a delightful discovery. It showcases the craftsmanship of around 60 Asian artisans, spanning from Japan to Thailand, offering a diverse range of products, from a copper teapot from China to a beautifully curved ceramic spoon from Japan.
The loft area has been transformed into a showcase of craft items, artisanal products, and furniture. The staircase itself is adorned with handrails wrapped in black paper cord.
The basement area begins with a noren curtain, guiding you to the gallery and the tea bar. The color palette in the gallery area evolves with each new exhibition, promising a fresh experience with every visit.
The tea bar Chokeikyo is guided by Tokyo’s tea master Shinya Sakurai from the Sakurai Sencha Research Institute. The entrance welcomes you with locally sourced stepping stone, Satsuma stone from Kagoshima and a countertop adorned with a mix of crushed stone. Black leather iron shelves add to the elegant atmosphere. The counter invites you to savor quality organic teas, tea-infused cocktails, and delicate wagashi sweets.
The choice of materials throughout both spaces is thoughtfully curated to blend with the Japanese and Asian furniture and products on display, creating an environment where textures and craftsmanship come together.
Each area retains its unique charm while maintaining a connection, offering visitors a journey through the world of quality Asian design and craft. This experience pays homage to the ‘plain, simple and useful’ philosophy championed by the late Sir Terence Conran, ensuring that The Conran Shop’s legacy of high-quality design continues to thrive in this new space.
Hillside Terrace Building F, 1F-B1F, Sarugakucho, 18−8, Shibuya City, 150-0033 Tokyo (Google Maps)