Designing Dining

Story By
Isaac William Jefferson Mandagie

When it comes to going out to eat, other than choosing great food people will also choose a place with a great ambience. Interior design boosts the dining experience, creating its own unique a feel.

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This sushi restaurant in Valencia, Spain, is a work of art by Masquespacio, a creative consultancy. It is the brainchild of Mireia who dreamt of opening the first tropical sushi restaurant in her native city. It is inspired by the client’s lifestyle, mixing elements from Japan and Brazilian tropicalismo.

The Japanese have had a strong influence in Brazil since they first arrived at the beginning of the twentieth century. With that, they also created a Nipo-Brazilian gastronomy which has flourished and built a strong identity. Kaikaya is the result of this fusion of traditional and methodic Japan with the tropical and exotic, contemporary Brazil in the center of Valencia.

The aesthetic for this venue is to maintain the existing elements in their natural state while also highlighting the imperfections left by time. The design needed to contain a strong splash of color mixed with unconventional Japanese and Brazilian concepts. It is easy to notice the use of materials such as wood and raffia from Japan, combining with the colorful patterns, parrots and an overwhelming incorporation of plants and decorative lamps that bring the tropical feel of the samba country. Meanwhile, the upper floor continues the combination of the original heritage’s space, fused with tropical and Japanese elements; an appearance that is clearly recognized through the round seating corners.

Masquespacio has been able to evoke the exotic feel of Brazil and Japan in Kaikaya, boosting one’s dining experience through its unique and aesthetically pleasing interior design.

Think Of It

Surat may not have the problems with available building spaces associated with other Indian cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, but the restaurant typology here seems to be filled with eateries with enclosed, air-conditioned environments. This does not mean that Surat has no al fresco establishments. Studio Lagon, with Hardik Shah as their principal architect, designed Think Of It which offers good food in a relaxing and refreshing design.

The client approached Studio Lagon to design a restaurant which would hopefully create something that the city lacked; a well-designed garden restaurant. With the land being leased, the interior design team was pushed to keep the built-form to a minimum and use only economic materials to balance the project costs.

Located in a small street, the restaurant contains a relative serenity which furthered the necessary laid-back feel. Although Think Of It needed to have a certain privacy, Studio Lagon also wanted it to feel separated from the street. That’s why the place has a landscaped elevation, a transition from the street level to the masonry wall which marked the boundary of the restaurant.

At the entrance is a lobby-like enclosed space that draws you in to the restaurant’s atmosphere, complete with an open courtyard. This gives an organic and free-flowing look with materials, colors and forms that are close to the earth. The seating arrangements vary from al fresco to semi-open, with smooth cement benches created in situ.

The color scheme ranges from earthy red to a dash of blue, complete with stones arranged in mosaic and smooth swells of cement that give a rustic look. On top of the garden, filled with tropical plants, are salvaged iron rods that form a wire-frame that give a rippled shadow effect on the floor.

Studio Lagon have succeeded in designing an establishment which gives an open feel filled with greenery and natural look. Think Of It allows a vibrant but soothing atmosphere for its patrons.