Harmonica Yokocho is a special street, beyond even its wondrous name. The narrow alleyway in the stylish Tokyo suburb of Kichijoji is a time warp, still suffused with "the atmosphere of black-market stalls during the post-World War II period," writes the architect Kengo Kuma.
This year Kuma completed a redesign worthy of a magical street. Using all recycled materials, he transformed a small yakitori on its edge. On his website, Kuma lists the various unexpected products used to make the chicken shop seem suffused in clouds of color and sheets of ice. Recycled LAN cables and melted acrylic byproduct now cover everything from the walls to the ceiling to the furniture inside.
Kuma writes of the surprisingly dreamy effect old electronic wires can bring: "Form becomes invisible and only materiality and various colors appear as if floating on air."
Melted acrylic gives the look of ice.
The restaurant's dual looks have drawn comparisons to yarn-bombing, and Queen Elsa's palace. We're seeing a Gerhard Richter painting crossed with ... well, Elsa's palace is pretty hard to top. Kuma's work is certainly Rorschach-y enough that we should all engage in this fun game though. Best analogy in the comments wins a busted LAN cable, sending time TBD.