architect: Kengo Kuma and Associatesc
location: Miyagi, Japan
photo by Masao Nishikawa
Kengo Kuma and Associates designed Nacrée restaurant in Miyagi in Japan. Nacrée is a French restaurant run by a Japanese chef who had worked for Astrance, a restaurant with Michelin’s 3-star rating in Paris.
The visitor's eye is immediately drawn to the flowers arranged in long cylinders made of wooden bar and acryl. The perimeter of the space becomes untangible and fluctuating, diners are immersed in a special light due to the glare created by the cylinders. The aim of Kengo Kuma and Associates was to create a gentle atmosphere using unconventional architectural elements.
The cylinders create delicate curvilinear walls contrasting with a ceiling with exposed plants, surely a brutal character compared to the refinement of the room. The contrast, however, is only apparent, because the ceilings repeat the theme of the cylinder due to exposed pipes.
Inside the restaurant there is also an environment, that of the bar and wine library, with a dark atmosphere, different from the light room of the 4th floor. Here the concept of lightness that pervades the whole place is maintained: instead of the cylinders here bamboo elements hang from the ceiling and stop at different heights. Here again diners find flowers clinging to the bamboo elements. A unitary character in the diversity of the spaces.