Higashiyama-ku, kyoto
Hiroyuki Hirai

PARADE is the name of a bar located on the second floor of a building facing Shinbashi-dori in Kyoto’s Gion area. The back of the building overlooks a small river flowing through the city, the Shirakawa. Even today, Shinbashi-dori presents a largely intact traditional Japanese street scenery. In light of the fact that customers approaching the bar would pass through this historic environment, I thought I should select a design that was neither so conventional as to be inconspicuous nor so novel as to destroy the street’s harmonious appearance. Also, the bar was to present itself as open to the city. To comply with these requests, it appeared necessary to pay particular attention to symbolic features such as the staircase leading up to the second floor and to the windows overlooking the Shirakawa. For the windows, it was decided to make it possible to fully remove the panes in spring and autumn, to give customers the opportunity to enjoy fresh air in these seasons. For the bar’s interior design, I used materials that responded to the wooden elements of the streetside front. Reverberating the facade’s linear design, surfaces featured prominently. Following these two basic guidelines, I chose stone for the floor, plaster for the walls, colored steel panels for the back-counter, and frosted glass for the counter. Especially dramatic is the effect achieved by illuminating the frosted glass counter from below; in this way, I tried to give customers the impression of peering into a deep stretch of sea.

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