Edition Roasters | Tamate Bako
Sydney, NSW, Australia
From The Designer
When this small box opens for business, its components literally unfold and adopted the name ‘Tamate Bako’ (‘Magic box’ in Japanese). The specialised coffee offering resulted in a microcosm of understated, well mannered, hyper efficient yet oh so charming, Japanese minimalism, where everything knows its place and nothing is wasted.
The 19sqm space is essentially a ‘temple of coffee’. Selling nothing else, it’s about culture, experience, memory, longing, smell, taste, touch, sensuality and above all, flawless delivery of an experience. The organic built form is nestled in between two towering office buildings in Sydney’s CBD. It had to accommodate 19 essential pieces of equipment including a large freestanding fridge, coffee supplies, takeaway cups, space to work and serve and a way to expand in busy times of the day.
Everything packs back into the space at end of service. An exercise in micro space planning and layering, we decided to break the space into two halves, introducing a single decorative framing partition, which split operations from service. One corner, a simple radius, the other a series of subtle yet more elaborate Japanese curves, to detract focus on the massive fridge below. Disguised with plasterboard, the fridge sported a subtle radius to its corner and the framing subtly backlit with warm LED’s. Oak joinery, the sole material, integrated authentic Japanese detailing into the counters corners and open shelving. Ceramics and objects synonymous with the coffee and tea ritual are perfectly positioned within.
Below the shelving, timber sliders house additional storage. Lining one perimeter, shallow open shelves provide endless coffee cup storage. Custom outdoor seating is designed to nestle in front of the service counter in the only ‘free’ space within the tenancy. The custom mobile Point of Sale is parked in between glazing and counters when closed. When open, it is wheeled out of bounds to free up internal space for customers ordering coffee. The POS’s single open shelf is recessed into its open facade, providing the perfect perch for Japanese treasures; a metaphor for the box’s contents. A project delivering an outstanding focus on quality and attention to detail.