Opening Shot

An Innovative Culinary Space in Tokyo Brings Together an All-Star Team of Creative Collaborators

A progressive architecture firm, viral Bronx chef collective, cult speaker maker, and experimental flower artist walk into a bar.....Snøhetta, Ghetto Gastro, Devon Turnbull, and Azuma Makoto join forces to dream up a radical new concept in the Japanese capital.


Location: Tokyo

Designer: Snøhetta

On offer: A crack team of collaborators came together to create Burnside, a hybrid concept that finds inspiration in the casual atmospheres of New York bodegas and Japanese convenience stores (conbini) by day, and Tokyo’s sultry izakaya bars come night. Situated on the second floor above a Family Mart in the youthful, street art–laden Harajuku district, the project brings together progressive Norwegian design firm Snøhetta, viral Bronx–based culinary collective Ghetto Gastro, Brooklyn’s cult speaker maker Devon Turnbull, experimental Tokyo flower artist Azuma Makoto, and local studio Kooo Architects.

Standout features: Art and design collective En One Tokyo commissioned the culinary test kitchen meets event space leading up to the Tokyo Olympics as a place to experiment and create. The moody material palette of Shou Sugi Ban charred wood is appointed with amber–hued accents to reflect the shifting light during the day and spotlight dramatic elements such as Azuma’s floral sculptures, titled Block Flowers, after dark. Burnside is intentionally malleable, with an adaptable open-format kitchen to host rotating chefs—Ghetto Gastro had a heavy influence on the kitchen design and will be the first chefs-in-residence—and custom family-style tables that both attach to each other and fold away, affording it the flexibility to transmogrify from a coffeehouse to a dance club at a moment’s notice. The opening menu will fuse Caribbean and Japanese influences with a considerable dose of Ghetto Gastro’s ‘Black Power Kitchen’ energy.

Further reading:

Snøhetta Cofounder Craig Dykers on How He Pushes His Non-Hierarchical Firm to Take Risks

Devon Turnbull’s Handcrafted Speakers are the Most Premium Audio Experience Around

Meet Tokyo’s Most Daring Florist, Azuma Makoto

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