Nacree Restaurant in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma | Yellowtrace

Nacree Restaurant in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma | Yellowtrace

Nacree Restaurant in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma | Yellowtrace

 

In the Miyagi prefecture of Japan, one can now enter a space that will transport them into a place that’s neither here, nor there, but a completely stand alone world for whimsical leisure and dining. This dream-like place I’m speaking of is Nacrée, a French restaurant helmed by a Japanese chef, formerly of a 3 Michelin Star restaurant, and masterfully designed by Kengo Kuma. Wowee, this is a goodie.

Placed within an existing industrial site, we see intimate dining zones framed by a translucent curtain formed by hundreds of acrylic cylinders suspended from the ceiling. Taking the theme of flora and transparency, Kuma’s vision saw fake flowers inserted within the cylinders. This theme carries on through timber flooring and tableware bearing floral motifs on tables draped in white. The insertion of this design is in stark contrast with the bones of the building – which is raw, exposed and industrial. A simple white out of the mechanical fittings and exposed pipes blends the building into the concept with ease.

 

Nacree Restaurant in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma | Yellowtrace

Nacree Restaurant in Tokyo by Kengo Kuma | Yellowtrace

 

What’s truly magical is the mastery behind the contradictions here: existing vs. inserted space, and the application of materials. It is with an ‘everyday’ acrylic that Kuma endows the space with it’s ethereal aesthetic, giving feels of calm, airy intimacy and luxury. The flowers within the tubes are whimsical, referencing nature, but man-made and acrylic themselves. Furthermore, we see this space come to life through the opaque cylinders, diffusing light whilst creating movement through reflections and shadows, mimicking the movement within the space. The notion of common materials such as plastics does not tend to elicit perceptions of luxury, but man has Kuma proved otherwise!

What a great example of dining experience, where a French restaurant in Japan can force you to lose your day upon entering simply because the space is just so damn special. Geeeenius.

 


[Images courtesy of Kengo Kuma & Associates. Photography by Masao Nishikawa.]

 

About The Author

Sally Klopper
Contributor

Sally is an interior designer and director of Sally Caroline - a design studio specialising in luxury residences. Her practice seeks to redefine the importance of ‘home’ by crafting spaces that consciously support every day routines, whilst being emphatic of her client’s style. For Sally, a truly great interior must be both beautiful in form, and genius in function. When not absorbed in interiors, Sally spends half her weeks on the coast in Blairgowrie, mothers her beautiful Hungarian Viszla, dreams about her next travel destination, writes her own blog, and voraciously hunts unique or vintage treasures. An entrepreneur and an avid design aficionado, Sally is always working on multiple ventures. Most recently, Sally launched an e-course, Open Studio, where interiors enthusiasts can learn how to design luxury residences as she does.

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