Japanese Restaurant_Fall 2011

  • For this project, a Japanese restaurant in downtown Philadelphia, I looked towards the unique city of Tokyo for inspiration. The Japanese have an exciting food culture and perhaps one of the most interesting places to experience this culture is Yakitori. Yakitori is a long alleyway in Tokyo lined with the largest collection of Japanese street vendors. I was inspired by the unique atmosphere the alleyway creates and sought to mimic this in my space. 
  • The restaurant's long and slim existing shape was perfect for representing an alleyway. I mimicked Yakitori by utilizing a single centralized path for circulation while anchoring all seating and program spaces against either wall. 
  • Concrete, steel, copper, and bamboo, along with focal walls covered in Japanese graffiti are meant to portray the vibrant urban feel of Tokyo's nightlife while also creating a sleek, upscale space. To further replicate the atmosphere of an alleyway, lighting is present over all dining spaces while the center circulation path is left unlit, mimicking the glow of food carts against the open night sky.
  • When designing the main dining room I was intrigued by the shape of the food carts themselves. I lined the walls with a series of boxes, changing in shape and volume, meant to represent the stacked elements that make up the various food stands. I also added a series of neon lights replicating the bright signs seen all throughout the alleyway. Metal awnings covering the tables complete the abstracted look.