Nakamata Sweet Shop

Tokyo studio Schemata Architects has designed a confectionery store in Maebashi, Japan with a courtyard to help open up and revive a shopping street that was on the decline.

The Nakamata sweet shop is located on a once-busy street that was at risk of becoming a so-called “shutter street” – a street in Japan where most of the stores have been closed up

To combat the decline of the street, the Maebashi Machinaka Agency was founded in 2016 as a corporation to promote the area and a number of new projects were launched, including the Nakamata store and its neighbouring shops.

An existing two-storey building was demolished to create the sweet store, which has a brick base that extends into an open yard for eating and socialising.

The ground floor has a brick base topped with large windows, while the upper level of the two-storey building has been wrapped in a facade made from galvalume steel, wood-wool cement and white mortar. A metal staircase connects the two floors.

While the previous store on the plot had taken up the entire site, the sweet shop was designed as a much smaller space.