Libre is the brainchild of chef Ichie Taguma, who honed his culinary skills for eight years in Paris at famed eateries like Le Cinq where he was eventually put in charge of developing their menu. Libre not only marks his formal return to Tokyo, Japan, but it is the first project that he can call his very own. His enthusiasm for the project is clear in its multiple facets; Libre is a patisserie from 10AM to 4PM, a course-meal only restaurant from 6PM to 9PM, and will also operate as an after-hours bar till 1AM.
DAIKEI MILLS was involved from the very start of the project; helping with many things from helping to pick the Shirokane location to bringing in a graphic designer develop the Libre logo.
Chef Taguma’s vision was to create a place that takes you deeper and deeper with a sense of wonderment, like going down a rabbit hole.
Setting the tone of the establishment is the use of two earthly materials. Thick layer of plaster and rammed earth conceals the original interior walls and ceilings, while the Rosso Orobico marble (intentionally reminiscent of sliced red meat) has a notable presence.
The cave-like feel of the space is helped by red lights coming through the tinted windows during the day — which brings out the raw redness of the natural materials —, and in the evening by the scattered downlight embedded in the ceiling material — which feels rather like sunlight falling onto the floor of a dark cave.
These earthy settings are countered by the large stainless steel counter and elegant curvature of the glass entrance and the wall. The glass entrance curves inward from the street to invite the passers-by, and it is inviting in other ways, too, as it functions as a large showcase to display Taguma’s artful patisseries.
DAIKEI MILLS will continue to be involved with the Libre project, with its seconds store set to open in Fukuoka this September.