Nozomi Sushi Bar is designed by Masquespacio who have studied Japanese culture, and used it throughout 2014 as inspiration for the branding and interiors for this Sushi bar chain.
The concept for this project represents the duality between ’emotional classic’ and the ‘rational contemporary’ of the Japanese culture. It is a reinterpretation of a Japanese village street, with the ancient craft of origami and the origin of sushi, juxtaposed with a mobile sushi stall.
Upon entering the restaurant these two concepts immediately catch the eye; the concrete façade of the entrance and the classic Japanese carpentry. The idea of the entrance is to make customers feel as though they are experiencing a live Japanese street, getting excited about the construction details of Japanese carpentry, and feeling stunned by it’s beauty.
A cube in the centre of the space creates two ‘streets’ which lead patrons toward the central lounge. On an aesthetic level a Japanese village street has clearly been reinterpreted through different modules, representing a market, pharmacy, doors and windows. The rooftops in turn interpret the contemporary and rational part, with a Japanese inclination.
Upon reaching the central lounge, one can enjoy authentic sushi beneath a ‘cherry tree,’ surrounded by origami-inspired flowers that bloom naturally; as though you are in a Japanese courtyard.
Each diner can watch sushi being created at the sushi bar, a reinterpretation of a sushi peddler, the first ever mobile fast-food stalls.
The main space incorporates both the rational contemporary elements, and the emotional classic- creating a continuous, open flow, very typical of Eastern architecture.
Even the warehouse and bathrooms reflect the decorative concepts; the use of concrete, wood and open architecture. This includes the rational contemporary lines and emotional natural wood.
Rational contemporary aspects of the space are formed through the western typography and structural parts of the 233m square space. The walls, ceilings and floors are grey and pure concrete is used as a contemporary material.
An emotional classic touch is added through the logo written in Hiragana (Japanese syllabary), while the warmth is added from natural wood, hand finishes and the introduction of carpentry.
A private dining area allows for more intimacy, without losing the authentic experience of being able to watch the goings-on below. Shadows generated by the lighting features are left naturally to highlight the irregular carpentry.
Architect Ana Milena Hernández Palacios studied photographs of authentic Japanese streets in order to create a metaphorical version in Nozomi.
She said “During the execution of the project many people have been nominating [Kyoto] as a typical street… something that happened mainly because it is where the most traditional Japanese houses are preserved today.”
The brand name ‘Nozomi’ was chosen as it is a high speed Japanese bullet train, and also means the ‘fulfilment of dreams’ – both of which José and Nuria identified with, and which create a duality present throughout the project.
Valencia-based, this is the last of the Nozomi Sushi restaurants from José Miguel Herrera and Nuria Morell, authentic traditional sushi specialists who are passionate about Japanese culture.
Images © David Rodríguez & Carlos Huecas