tokyo baby cafe

sketch / image
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  • Tokyo
  • 2010.04

The design for a ‘parent and child cafe’ on Tokyo’s Omotesando, for parents to enjoy being out with small children without worry about those around them. The cafe is fully stocked with picture books and toys, and includes a playroom, private rooms and separate spaces for nursing and changing diapers. Wide aisles make it easy to move around with a stroller, and light switches and door handles are placed high up to keep children from using them.
The cafe is designed to be enjoyed by two very different sizes of users, ‘parents’ and ‘small children’, so the interior plays on this difference in scale. They also see the world through different eyes. Take a table: adults live their lives aware of tabletops, and the things placed on top of them.
But children see the table’s underside. A table’s legs can look like pillars, and the reverse of the tabletop is like a roof. The cafe’s ‘absolutely huge’ and ‘absolutely tiny’ furnishings take advantage of these two perspectives, the adult’s and the child’s.
A nursing sofa becomes a playroom when blown up on a massive scale, and a diaper changing table when shrunk to minuscule proportions. Big windows pair with small ones, and big lightbulbs with small ones. The floorboards vary in size, and the undersides of tables, where parents eyes don’t reach, hide pictures of parent and baby animals. In fact, ‘parents and children’ can be found all around the cafe, ready for their parent and child visitors.

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Photographer : Jimmy Cohrssen