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Project / Completed 2021

Hikari Life by Ai Republic

/ By Ai Republic
Shanshan Vision

The Space

A Japanese-inspired café that explores the use of mosaic tiling, textured paint and a blonde timber finish to create a space that transforms every visit into an experience. 

AI Republic

“Timber, Japanese mosaic tile, rattan, polished plasterboard and textured paint were selected as the material of the café to make a minimal and warm atmosphere.”

Melbourne is known for it’s iconic coffee culture, which makes the city an ideal spot for Hikari Life to serve locals with the very best Japan has to offer. Located within the heart of Melbourne CBD, the recent renovation project transforms a heritage building once used as a retail store, into a multi-purpose space that includes the new café.

The design was conceptualised by Ai Republic, a Melbourne-based interior design and architectural practice with projects encompassing a range of industries like hospitality, commercial, retail, industrial and residential. The team are constantly striving ‘to create spaces that are true to [the] brand and tell [the] story, are fit for purpose and in harmony with the environment’.

Concepts of the design, such as the use of a crisp white base colour, subtle greenery and Victorian ash timber were inspired by the Japanese offerings, heritage and relationship to the business. To complement the timber, textured paint, minimalist tiling and bright lighting emphasise the inviting atmosphere that draws customers in for an enjoyable experience.

GoodWood Victorian ash was used for the benchtops and complimentary joinery, with a clear coat to maintain the natural timber colour. Commonly used in hospitality settings for its robust yet stunning appearance, GoodWood Victorian ash is strong, easy to work, cut and stain, all while remaining a consistent blonde colour. The design is a prime example of the versatility which comes with specifying a light-coloured timber, along with the extensive range of applications available. Learn more about GoodWood here.

AI Republic

“The counter, cabinet and loose furniture were carefully selected in a single colour to make the space abstract and create an aesthetically pleasing and intimate space in the crowdedness of the city. The beautiful texture and pattern of [GoodWood] Victorian ash timber is the finishing touch to layer the interior space.”

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