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Mirrors Cafe

Nagoya-based architecture studio Bandesign have designed a cafe with a mirrored facade, situated in the country’s gifu prefecture, the project is positioned opposite a row of cherry trees, a popular destination for visitors during the blossom season. A row of cherry tree in this residential town inspired the cafe. This situation stimulated strongly connection with nature. The motive is an invitation for the visitors by the reflective gables creating a forest of the cherry tree.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-02-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x506 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

Mirrors is a roadside cafe designed for a plot by side of a row of cherry trees. The building has two wings and looks as if it has split in half symmetrically and arranged around a single Camilla tree, which stands on a patch of white gravel with tile edging. Internally, vertical roof struts of motif of the tree blanch make visitors feeling of a rest under the tree. A bank of cherry blossom is mirrored by the reflective gables. This feature creates a cherry forest in this residential town.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-03-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x506 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

Mirrors is running for all seasons. In the early spring the cherry blossom viewing season has come, and Mirrors creates the cherry forest. After that, Mirrors reflects green foliage. In the fallen leaves season, the camellia’s flower comes out. As a result, the plot of the mirrors impresses on the visitors not only cherry blossom but also sensitive changes of the four seasons.

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© Shigetomo Mizuno

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-05-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x506 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

The two gables made of polished stainless steel are angled towards each other, reflecting both the adjacent tree and the cherry trees. Internally, visitors sit under the vertical roof struts, motifs of the tree blanches and catch simultaneous view of both the reflected and real scenery through wide picture windows in each gable.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-06-Shigetomo-Mizuno-800x1200 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

“In this project, our great concern was how reflection of stainless steel effected to the environment, people and others. We especially took care about obstruction for car traffics and neighbors. The reflex action doesn’t turn toward to theirs, and this low rise building hardly impact the entire environment. In overcoming the obstacle the reflection bring various benefits for the cafe.” – bandesign

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© Shigetomo Mizuno

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-10-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x509 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

A row of cherry tree is planted at an embankment at the basin, and many people visit this location during the cherry blossom viewing season. Taking advantage of the location, Mirrors has unique appearance and invites the people, and Mirrors reflects this environment for all season. As a result, the objectives are awareness of transition of the season and coexistence with nature. Mirrors was planned for promotion of the cafe business under the circumstances.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-11-Shigetomo-Mizuno-800x1200 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno


A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin, and many people visit this location during the cherry-blossom viewing season. There is Mirrors along the avenue.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-12-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x506 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

Taking advantage of this location, we intentionally made repeated refractions of the tree. In order to amplify the cherry two mirror walls set up angle position and making a cherry forest on a corner of the town. Overlapping the cherries and reflecting with a warp, the people are invited by it to the forest. In addition, in the café the people could see the cherries and the reflecting cherries at the same time and feel season changing closely. Especially vertical roof struts of motif of the tree blanch made them feeling of a rest under the tree.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-13-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x506 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

Between two buildings, white gravel makes more reflecting brightly and symbolically expressing the centre of a tree. There are three trees in this site, and the trees are camellia. Camellia makes flowers before cherry blossom. First, camellia is out red flowers, second cherry is out pink flowers. We designed changing season of winter to spring by the colors.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-14-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x497 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

Exterior wall is white steel that is galbanum plating. Entrance door is red. Interior wall is red and green. Every design and color implies being in the forest intentionally.

Mirrors-Cafe-By-bandesign-15-Shigetomo-Mizuno-759x506 Mirrors Cafe / bandesign

© Shigetomo Mizuno

Project Data:

Project name: Mirrors
Location: 2 Chome-66 Akanabeono Gifu, 500-8261 Japan
Coordinates: 35.394727, 136.751459
Type: Restaurant / Coffee shop / Cafe
Materials: Exterior / Roof and Wall / Galbanum Steel ,Stainless Steel Interior / Wall and Ceiling / Plaster , AEP / Floor Mortal
Gross floor area: 99.07 sqm
Project Period: started in 2013 and finished in 2014
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2014


  • 2016 – Architizer A+ Awards – Typology Categories: Restaurants – Jury Winners
  • 2015 – The German Design Council Award – Iconic Awards – Category: Architecture – best of best
  • 2014-2015 – A’ Design Award and Competition – Category: Architecture, Building and Structure Design – Winner

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private


  • Hisanori Ban, Terashima kazumoto

Project Manager: Aurecon Group
Construction company: Oribe – Daisuke Oribe


  • Lighting Design: Koizumi Lighting technology – Atsuko Fujita

Manufactures: Lixil Corporation, Panasonic

Text Description: © Courtesy of bandesign, A’ Design Award and Competition
Images: © Shigetomo Mizuno


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