History, structure and materials are on raw display at Voice of Coffee in Kobe. The specialty coffee shop opened last year in the Chuo-ku district of Kobe and is located in a space formerly occupied by a barber shop. The architect Yusuke Seki was tasked with stripping down the space and exposing what is essential, much like what the the coffee shop aims to do with their regionally-sourced beans.
The AAA on the front of the façade was intentionally left as a tribute to the history of the building, which house the AAA (pronounced san-A) barber shop. The façade, which used to extend to the street, was set back and opened up as a glass front creating a small engawa, a traditionally Japanese threshold between interior and exterior.
Almost everything throughout the space is raw and bare a subtractive process of the demolition that paradoxically, “has an accumulative effect,” explains the architect. “Every detail comes to light, every inscription left behind by a worker a generation ago, serves to make history visible.” And the transparent doorway with glass bricks only helps to illuminate this.