893 Ryotei occupies the storefront interior space of a 1960s Hans-Dieter Bolle structure – a former locus of the banal, a “Schlecker” drugstore.  Its graffiti-scarred facade reflects a radical transformation – it is essentially tattooed. Mirrored surfaces create a disorienting interplay with the urban fabric.

The interior space inverts the expectation of Kantstrasse’s commercial bustle. An abstracted Yakuza tattoo, a symbol of hidden worlds, takes physical form. Inked patterns become textured surfaces – black expanses juxtaposed with subtly colored horizontal planes. The metamorphosis is jarring, challenging the perception of surface and depth. The history of the building lingers, repurposed and subverted.

Architect: ALLEN KAUFMANN Architekten

Photography: Yuzhu Zheng and Ann Katrin Warter

Japanese Tattoo; Kusakabe Kimbei (Japanese, 1841 - 1934, active 1880s - about 1912), or Baron Raimund von Stillfried (Austrian, 1839 - 1911); Japan; 1870s - 1890s; Hand-colored albumen silver print; 26 x 20 cm (10 1/4 x 7 7/8 in.); 84.XA.700.4.57