Fuwa Fuwa Cafe by Studio Yimu
It always feels like waking up to a sunny morning at the Golden Square branch of Fuwa Fuwa in Toronto, Canada. Forget the roar of coffee machines or the flood of freshly baked sweets and treats. Attention is immediately drawn to the high ceiling of the cafe slash restaurant which tilts and takes the form of a cave.
The arc mirrors what one would feel inside a loaf of bread, only to be baked with lots of egg yolks. The brown shade is replaced by the purity of yellow yellow. It doesn’t matter what the diners eat here. The bright yellow interior and Japanese aesthetics are already filling.
images courtesy of Studio Yimu | all photos by Scott Norsworthy
Design company Studio Yimu took over Fuwa Fuwa’s design in Golden Square. “It’s not a take-out cafe or a sit-down restaurant. It exists at the intersection of the two, and thus aims to combine the visual aesthetics of both,’ the team writes on its website. On the face of it, it was a success with no effort to capture the original perspectives before working on the design.
The gradual effect of color transitions from bright yellow to white. It complements the wooden canopy and backdrop as well as the marble floor. The design team’s intention was to seat diners and savor the surroundings and the meals they will soon devour. Mission accomplished.
the high ceiling forms an arch
Infuse the visual traits of Japanese design
Yimu studio wanted to introduce a modern café with a forward-looking presence as opposed to the traditional counterparts and subdued tones of the neighborhood. To emphasize its zesty energy, the team painted the interior the brightest yellow they could find to resonate with the coffee and cake culture of youth and the unwavering quality of a classic restaurant for those who seek rest immersed in a meal filled with guilt.
“All the while, the design infuses visual traits of Japanese design to reflect the Japanese-style dessert it serves,” the team adds in his writing. When diners enter, the gentle curve and bright yellow of the high canopy frames their vision from the start, the sense of a modern temple penetrates their first impression. “Light emanates from it, gently illuminating every corner of the space. It is flanked by corridors on either side,’ the design team continues.
Fuwa Fuwa branch in the Golden Square
Experience the pleasant feeling of being hidden
Diners order from the array of Japanese-inspired desserts and snacks and wait for them to be served. Hands on the tray, their eyes scan the place with many seats to occupy. Those near the entrance offer views out through the transparent windows, while those at the back allow them to burrow into the cave’s Instagram-worthy, Japanese-cradle nook.
Japanese design details
“Two experiences become available: the agitation of flipping pancakes and the pleasant sensation of being hidden in a small pocket of space”, the design team writes. Coffees can get cold from the pleasure of sharing conversations between bites and slurps.
Fuwa Fuwa in Golden Square makes it to the list of must-visit cafes (and must-visit spots for those who need to travel far). The choice of bright yellow for the canopy is enough to convince the guests that they have stopped at the right place.