Architectural bento boxes from Japan
Design collective Bento Architecture – consisting of Sekiya Takumi, Oishi Shohei, Iida Eimi and Sakamoto Shunta – in Japan has recreated architecture from respected Japanese architects such as Tadao Ando, Sou Fujimotoand SANAA in food-stuffed boxes. Their playful approach to eating meals has resulted in bento boxes that people can dine in or take with them.
Four-member design studio Bento Box says it plans to design a new bento experience by turning some of Japan’s famous architecture into lunch boxes and delivering them to the world. Bento boxes dedicated to Tadao Ando, Sou Fujimoto and SANAA may just be their introduction. “We believe that by designing new bento boxes, we can design new bento experiences and hope to introduce famous Japanese architecture to the world in the form of bento boxes.” says the team.
images courtesy of Bento Architecture | photos by Ko Tsunoda and Kakuta Wataru (unless noted)
Tadao Ando’s Row House bento box
Tadao Ando Row House in Sumiyoshi is offered as its first lunch box Bento Architecture. The architecture is reproduced on two levels, with four distinct spaces and its own atrium. The cross-section of the bento box reveals the open courtyard, allowing customers to see the bed of rice and side dishes. “Rekindle the excitement of opening the bento box. Not only from above, but also from the side.” says the team.
A courtyard divides the two-story bento box into two sections, creating four completely different seats. It has a bridge that connects the areas separated by the courtyard. The chopsticks move back and forth between the rice and side dishes, just as the residents move between their bedrooms and living room.
The Row House in Sumiyoshi is Tadao Ando’s debut project whose distinctive feature emerges from the open courtyard in the middle. On rainy days, this house needs to use an umbrella to use the toilet in the yard. This design team made the bento box as a way to appreciate the open and closed spaces of Ando’s architecture.
row house in sumiyoshi section plan and scale model | image © designboom
Sou Fujimoto’s Tokyo Apartment bento box
Sou Fujimoto’s Tokyo Apartment is a residential complex consisting of a series of small houses a collection of small spaces. “What if we put small bento boxes together to form a single bento box? What kind of dining experience will be created?’ asks the group.
The effect comes through a series of bento pieces that can be stacked and removed to reveal and hide the food. Small bento boxes make up a large bento box. When lined up one by one, they become the centerpiece of the table, an analogy the team compares to a dining table with many side dishes.
“It’s only one bento box, but it’s many bento boxes. This is a bento box that creates a new way of gathering. says the team. Along with Fujimoto’s architecture, the design team is also based on the melting pot in Tokyo driven by people from different cultures. Instead of cramming everything into one room, the bento is a collection of independent spaces.
Tokyo Apartment by Sou Fujimoto
SANAA Museum of Contemporary Art Bento Box
From above, SANAA’s museum project may look like a giant plate with many plates. Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of the architecture group are based on the concept of architecture that is open to the city when they conceived their circular project. The bento box follows the same path and creates a large round plate with many small plates and boxes
“A round bento box is a bento box that can be rotated to see a different view of the same bento box. One turn, and the side dish that was right in front of you a moment ago will become distant and a new dish is ahead. The input changes, each time you turn this box, says the team.
In fact, the SANAA bento box imagines box-shaped containers in different shapes and sizes to mix and match playful meals. Creativity comes into play as customers style their food by filling empty boxes, such as Tadao Ando and Sou Fijimoto Bento boxes, with ingredients and meals that fit the containers. The result can be a colorful selection from appetizer courses to fun bites.
Tokyo apartments, 2006 | image © designboom
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art by SANAA
kanazawa Museum of XXI Century Contemporary Art, Ishikawa, Japan (1999-2004) by SANAA | image © SANAA