Torafu Architects designed the ‘NEW PEOPLE’ in San Francisco, United States.
Description from the architects:
The NEW PEOPLE J-Pop Culture complex opened in the heart of Japantown, San Francisco; an area home to a five-storied pagoda that offers a curious and exotic sight even to the Japanese visitor. It is in this extravagant setting that we designed the interior of the new building, set to become a center showcasing modern Japanese popular culture, at the request of the owner, a manga (Japanese comics) publisher and president of the company managing the complex, VIZ Pictures, a distributor of Japanese cinema in the USA.
We were primarily involved with designing the interior of the public spaces such as the lobby on the 1st floor, the NEW PEOPLE THE STORE retail shop on the mezzanine, as well as the gallery and VIZ Picture’s offices located on the 3rd floor. The building also houses a movie theater in the basement and various tenants on the 2nd floor.
The side panels of the mezzanine shop’s displays feature faces of characters appearing in manga by artist Yuichi Yokoyama to bring out the flat 2D quality of the medium and represent the company’s colors, whose growth has paralleled that of Japanese comics. The “Face Furniture” characters seem to engage in a lively dialogue with each other as speech bubbles, like those found in comics, adorn the horizontal displays on the floor and the vertical displays on the walls.
On the 3rd floor, a display area lined with movie posters and film crates separates the president’s office from the rest of the office space where we find three islands of desks, curved as to avoid uncomfortable gazes, and a kitchen counter placed by the window, giving the whole area the welcoming atmosphere of a big dining room.
Due to the limited execution time available and quality assurance concerns, all pieces of furniture were made in Japan so as to be readily assembled on site.
By integrating the 2D motifs of manga to the 3D depth of architecture, we produced an abstract yet intriguing effect. Furthermore, we were inspired by the building’s name to create a space where one can experience a unique and rather surrealistic worldview to foster the appreciation of modern Japanese popular culture by all visitors to “NEW PEOPLE”.
|Location||San Francisco, United States|
|Design Collaboration||TAIJI FUJIMORI ATELIER / Sign design: TAKAIYAMA / Art work: Yuichi Yokoyama, Noritake / Fabric design: NUNO / Lighting design: Izumi Okayasu Lighting Design|
|Area||total floor 1,948 m2|