Walking on the streets of Hakodate, one sees brick warehouses, Western-style buildings, and storehouses that give a sense of the city’s history as a port town open to the world. At the same time, one encounters many buildings featuring curious blends of Japanese and Western styles, with the first floor in Japanese and the second floor designed in Western style. Most buildings in the city are wood constructions, and the Western elements are limited to facade decorations. Sensyuan is in Motomachi, where many buildings are eclectic blends of Japanese and Western styles, and has long been a popular confectionery shop among the locals. It is a Japanese-style wooden building with a storehouse at its center, and the front façade remains one of Hakodate’s landmarks for many years.
In planning the store renovation, we decided to add a café where customers who came to buy Japanese confectionaries could drop by for a coffee break. We converted a warehouse previously used for storage and packing into a café and renovated the existing store and office. During the process, we noticed a Western element, a small amount of brick laid out on the exterior of the building. So, we extended the brick to the interior of the existing wooden building, used it to cover the earthen floor, and raised it in places to create counters, benches, and other necessary furniture. The raised brickwork is cut based on the shaku module (approximately 30.3 cm) of traditional Japanese wooden construction, and the cross-section of the cut brickwork appears at the edges. Our design aimed to blend brick, a Western material, with the existing Japanese architecture as part of the composition, creating a shop that blends the Japanese and Western styles not only on the surface but throughout the interior.
We proposed a new way of blending Japanese and Western styles by using brick, a material familiar to Hakodate residents while retaining the appearance of a traditional Japanese house and the front of a long-established Japanese confectionary shop. We hope it will remain a popular confectionery among the locals for many years to come. (Rikako Sho)

Title: Hakodate Sensyuan Sohonke
Architects: Jo Nagasaka / Schemata Architects
Project team: Rikako Sho
Sign Design: Moeko Yamaguchi (Nippon Design Center, Inc.)
Location: 9-9 Horaicho, Hakodate, Hokkaido
Usage: Japanese confectionary store, Cafe
Construction: Hiranokengyo
Structural Consulting: ladderup architects
Collaboration: ENDO Lighting Corp (lighting), FUKUSHIMA GALILE (kitchen)
Floor area: 197.54m²
Type of structure: Wood
Completion: May, 2024
Open: May, 2024
Photographer: Yurika Kono
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