A culinary school stimulates the 5 senses

by VIRGINIA LAU on Aug 17, 2012 in Interiors , Lifestyle
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Straying away from stale, stereotypical institutions, the new International Technical Chef College in Tokyo seeks to stimulates the senses through a vibrant palette

“Colour is very important in cooking,” says Emmannuelle Moureaux, founder of Emmanuelle Mouureaux Architecture & Design. Known for her shikiri concept ‑ literally meaning dividing and creating spaces with colour ‑ the Tokyo-based French architect and designer recently completed TBC Gakuin’s International Technical Chef College in Utsunomiya, Tokyo.

TBC Gakuin, one of the largest groups of colleges in Japan’s northern Kanto region, was familiar with Moureaux’s signature style and wanted to stand out from its competitors with à la mode interiors. The existing building was reduced to its skeleton and in the new plan, a diagonal corridor becomes an important design point – and is in fact, Moureaux’s favorite element of the completed project: “I designed the corridor as ‘a space’ and not as ‘a passage’,” she says. Indirect LED lights highlight the coloured walls of each corridor. “When you get off the elevator, you are wrapped by colour.”

Her design concept integrates 20 vibrant colours throughout the college to stimulate the five senses – sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing. As it is a cooking school, she specifically selected paints that contain no harmful organic components.

On each floor of the college, a thematic colour is used in five tones – yellows for the classrooms and offices on the second floor, pinks for the cake and bread-making labs on the third floor, greens for the fourth floor cooking labs, and blues for the café on the fifth floor. Incorporating all the colours from the second to fifth floors, a lively hub for students to gather and pass through is situated on the first floor.

For the public face of the college on the first floor – the reception area ‑ Moureaux designed lobby chairs using seven square benches in yellow, orange, light pink, medium pink, green and blue. The chairs create a sequence of coloured lines that flow continuously from the reception area to the demonstration area. “Their square shape refers to the square motif of the colours used in the corridor of each floor,” she adds. 

Read the full story, ‘Five senses, 20 colours’, in the September 2012 issue of Perspective magazine! 

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