MIURA – Looking at Miyagawa Bagel one cannot help but feel nostalgic. It must be deemed the highest achievement of Japanese architecture firm Roovice to make the new bagel shop in the coastal village of Miura feel like it had been longing to be there.
The creation of places, simple yet imbued with soul, is what Roovice is best at. The firm specialises in renovations that do not cost the world yet give the impression of luxury, through the use of natural materials and resulting in some sort of unobstructed fluidity. This is the spirit and case in Miura, where a former fishing-gear warehouse has been lined with Meranti, a wood native to Southeast Asia which is said to have its origins in Japan. Further supporting the idea to bring the surrounding nature closer into the shop is the replacement of exterior walls with corrugated plates of polycarbonate, which let light and green shades shine through.
Situated close to the sea and a natural salt pan, with birdsong and lapping waves continuously creating the soundscape, Miyagawa Bagel has been introduced to the small village (with only 1300 inhabitants) to attract additional visitors from Tokyo – a 1.5-h train ride/drive away. Although it is a little bold to introduce a bagel shop to a Japanese village in order to spark economic prosperity, it may well work. Maybe Miura, which is said to have the most beautiful sunset in Japan, will soon serve the country’s best bagels too.