The crux of the problem at this restaurant in Tokyo lies at the heart of most architectural challenges in the city: space, or rather what to do when you don’t have any. In the case of Shikata, a barbecue restaurant in Meguro-ku, the problem was providing the dining groups with their own defined spaces while at the same time avoiding a cramped or claustrophobic feeling.
Matsuya Art Works hit upon the idea of using what it describes as half-mirror partitions between their booths. These semi-reflective surfaces give more of a view through to the rest of the dining space than opaque materials would, but still provide a sense of division. The partitions have been transformed into Japanese screen paintings with traditional cultural designs (koi, geisha and parasols), and the more cartoonish additions come from the kami characters of the Shinto folk religion. Natural flagstones on the floor is echoed on one wall; the others have been left as undecorated concrete, giving the dining space a solid frame into which the glass has been placed.