In German, Baumkuchn translates literally as “tree cake” or “log cake”. Although traditionally European, the delicious layered dessert is also popular in Japan where it has become the namesake of this 60-seat café in Tokyo. Given the roots of the name, we were asked to create a feature wall based on our Alder Series. The resulting piece is close to 120 square feet of Alder millwork, which seamlessly blends into the architecture of this small but beautiful space.
Alder was a natural choice as a material with which to tell this story of forest development. Western alder is a pioneer tree. It grows quickly from saplings into dense stands of foliage that contribute to the forest’s shifting play of light and dark. It also has the unique and crucial ability to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, preparing fertile ground for other tree species to be reborn. In this case, the Alder sections themselves also mirror the round trunks of layered Baumkuchen cake.
I am always looking to expand the opportunities and functionality of wood. The simple beauty of the alder pieces lend themselves to so many applications. I welcome the opportunity to apply this material to new and innovative projects.
Design Team: Juchheim Group