To give the Hunters Roots Café and Juice Bar on Katherine Place in Melbourne a clean, modern look, the architect Kei Kitayama has created an interior design based on wooden fruit crates used in an abstract way.

The crates fill the spaces, creating an immersive sculptural form. The space is optimized, transforming practical shelves into decorative features. The lights, cabinets and counters contribute to the overall concept.

The light, with a warm atmosphere, is obtained by using American maple and paulownia – American AHEC hardwoods – in the entire space, then finished with limewash.

Some of the crates –in ultralight paulownia – are hung like chandeliers to create a play of light and shadow. The rest of the carpentry and the lower crates are in maple, a sturdy wood with special tones that is soft to the touch.

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the association that represents the American hardwood industry on an international level.