Basho Sushi House
This space is sober and simple but with strong ideas and concepts. Without clear intentions and precise instructions none of this would have result in such a magical outcome.
The 25m2 space faces a busy street showing the public how small can still be beautiful. Our intention was to give a little magic atmosphere to such tiny space, working the restaurant and providing its clients a comfortable experience with the whole, not only while eating but also when viewing the cooking process. Our purpose was creating an ideal and suitable space for arranging and preparing the fish. The sushiman is the main protagonist, between the entrance and the balcony his art will inspire clients by building a clean relationship in which all the aspects of cooking and the grace of serving are let to be watched. A clear seduction with a simple intention. The space devoted to the preparation of the dishes is a well-organized niche where the contrast of the building materials and games of light and shadow adds that mystical idea we have about the whole cooking sushi process. In a sense we played here with anthropological and cultural rituals. The conceptual approach took also in consideration symbols and how through them we can easily connect with values and aspirations of a different culture. The sushisticks worked perfectly, by keeping the budget low and creating a clear stenographic statement. By repeating the sushisticks for 8,400 times, placing them like a structured cloud, suggest the profile of a Japanese temple. The color scheme was chosen in full respect of traditional aesthetic of the Japanese composition of visual elements. Shadow plays an important role underlining the balance and the equilibrium of the architectonic harmonies. Dark walls meant for absorbing the light and therefore enhancing the cloud made of sushi sticks.
The space is characterized by his small dimension, only 25 sq/m and a unique facade turned into one of the busiest streets in town.
In the spatial organization approach our main concern was to valorize the art of preparation and the transformation of the fish. In order to achieve that, we draw an exposed balcony to the eyes of the consumer. By putting it on the opposite side of the main entrance we´ve made the sushiman the space protagonist, and we´ve granted a quite frank cook/costumer relation, granting the needed confidence to a public that still sees sushi as a strange dish.
All the other needed areas for food preparation are located in a small niche near the balcony, and hidden beyond a wooden slated door that shows only the silhouette of the other involved intervenient in the sushi preparation, assigning a certain mystic to the space itself and into the all preparation ritual.
The rest is public area. Even confined to a 9 sq/m area the intention was to create a space with a strong character and one that could direct the mind of the observer into the Nipponese culture, and to do it we knew we had to resort to the symbolic power of icons.
Symbols are ideas that, due to their influence, prevailed in time and rooted into a certain culture becoming a part his own identity. For example, if we think in a baguette and an accordion our brain will make an immediate association to France and its cities. This phenomenon happens because the brain organizes thought throw a concept association mechanism. It organizes information in “small bags” (concepts) “glued” by our own personal experience. It´s a personal process but not a intrasmissible one, considering the fact that we all live in a sociocultural context ruled by the ideas and beliefs defended and widespread by others before us. Morality, ethics, culture and traditions of a certain country are the result of the accumulation of those same ideas. Some, by their relevance, persist in time and become a part of the collective thought, and sometimes so viscerally that they become symbols of their own culture.
In the above example the symbols that makes us think in France are, the baguette and the accordion. In this case we had to find a Nipponese cultural symbol that was so easily recognizable to the viewer as the baguette is to France. We realized that in the very basis of the sushi cuisine we could find such a symbol. What better icon of the oriental gastronomy than chopsticks?
Throw a nine sq/m area we´ve spread 8.400 chopsticks in an uniform way, recreating a Japanese temple silhouette, another strong Nipponese icon. However, knowing that today consumer his avid for new things, we wanted to give space a mutable character, so throw a very simple cable support system we transformed the little chopsticks net into a tridimensional pixelated “screen”. Throw a net of various brackets integrated in the ceiling slab it´s possible to change the chopstick ceiling form and transform space completely.
The color pallet choice was made in respect of the traditional Japanese aesthetics, in which shadow meets a primordial role in the architectural harmony balance. So, we´ve painted the walls black to get the ideal luminance absorption, reinforcing the ceiling aesthetic potential.