Atelier Tsuyoshi Tane Architects' (ATTA)
design for the GYRE.FOOD
restaurant in Tokyo, Japan, places diners in a forest-like environment of soil and lush greenery to encourage thought about the planet, the climate and where food comes from.
GYRE.FOOD is located in a 1,000sq m (10,800sq ft) top-floor space of the MVRDV
complex, which opened in 2007 and comprises five stacked and spiralled boxes.
The GYRE name is taken from the spiralling shape of the building and is tied to the centre's basis of a more socially conscious form of shopping, asking shoppers to consider how their shopping behaviour connects them with the world.
In line with this, ATTA's aim for GYRE.FOOD was to give guests an opportunity to think about how the meals they eat affect the rest of the world.
The venue combines fine-dining and all-day dining restaurants, a bar, a grocery shop and an events space with terraced seating reminiscent of paddy fields, which can be used for talks and discussions about food and environmental issues.
Its soil-covered walls and floors provide a reminder of where food comes from, the circulation of life and our connection with the rest of the planet, while also creating a unique and natural setting for visitors.
Tsuyoshi Tane, founder or ATTA, said: "As I started to ponder food culture, 'earth' was the starting point for my thinking. Everything comes from the earth and then goes back to the earth.
"With its floor and walls covered in earth, the food floor evokes ancient ruins buried in the earth. It can also seem like a cave at the back of a dense forest or a tropical urban jungle, and thus it is a place where people can experience the food culture of the future, which will bring about more diversity.
"As the planet becomes warmer and the land’s desert areas continue to expand, the restaurants can be characterised as an experimental project in going back to the earth. My hope is that as a restaurant floor where people can sense the future of the global environment while enjoying food, this will become a place to create the future of Tokyo's food culture."