Noriyuki Otsuka Creates Le Ciel Bleu, Japan

Japanese based designer Noriyuki Otsuka recently completed the design of a all white shop with a mesh portal in the upcoming neighborhood of Umeda in Osaka, Japan. The design of LE CIEL BLEU is based on his design philosophy "Nothing is everything," then Otsuka brought the design to life with his other philosophy "Mixtures of transparency."

With these two concepts in mind, Otsuka and his team built a 2992 sq.ft. space using an array of white and cream hues with a large architectural element with in the space. We caught up with the architect who explained that the "interior space was a cylinder made with a structurally self-supporting mesh." He noted that "because of the size of the feature I wanted to avoid integrating it too much with the surrounding space, so deliberately aligned it off center from the axis of the building." By using this layout, the architectural portal became a strong design feature in the shop.

The floor was hand painted with original gold paint, while the walls and ceiling were finished in an acrylic emulsion paint.

The clients wanted to introduce the work of the late musical composer, Toru Takemitsu, to complement the design of the shop with sound. The architect listened closely to Takemitsus music. Otsuka understood that Takemitsus wanted to express music with colors, in the same way that he wanted to express a white space using brilliant colors. "That is to say, I wanted to use the density of the design to fill the space in the same way as music notes fill a space." He went on to explain that "this density is not expressed through an elaborate or gimmicky design; rather it is expressed as a fine balance of musical notes."

A visually stimulating display wall was created with custom shelves made out of mirror and transparent acrylic. The wall is back lit with white lighting and has the name of the store in neon lighting shining above it.

Otsuka said it was great to have clients that had a "very good understanding of design," and it was their understanding of design that made it "possible to design a space to such a high degree of perfection."

(Photographer: Hiroyuki Hirai)