art design

Shokutei Sushi restaurant in Shenzhen designed by NATURE TIMES ART DESIGN

Glading Marteen 

When going out to eat, finding a place with a captivating interior design, as well as in harmony with the type of cuisine, are elements that can strongly influence the diners’ experience and enjoyment. This is precisely why Shoku-tei Sushi, a Michelin-level Japanese cuisine brand, which has chosen Shenzhen as the location of its first restaurant in mainland China, has entrusted the local NATURE TIMES ART DESIGN studio with the design of its new restaurant. All this, of course, starting from the vocation of the brand, which scrupulously follows the traditional mastery and craftsmanship of Edomae sushi.
For the project, the design team from the NATURE TIMES ART DESIGN studio sought to combine traditional Japanese cuisine with Oriental visual elements through the careful use of modern design languages. All this, with the intention of not only inspiring and pleasing the palates of diners, but also offering them new poetic experiences.
The restaurant’s location on the ground floor of a shopping complex in the Futian Central Business District, in Shenzhen, inspired designers to propose natural elements such as stones, trees, earth and plants that define the entrance, which subtly dialogues and balances the modern surrounding skyscrapers of the lively neighbourhood. The same natural materials are also found in the 200-square-metre interiors, continuing the idea of being in “a naturally growing “organism” hidden in a quiet corner”, as the designers explain.
Rectangular structures of various sizes and functions define the simple spatial pattern of the restaurant, where diners can then enjoy their food. Indeed, the restaurant’s pronounced sobriety, a direct contradiction to today’s opulent optical effects and “instagrammable” spaces loved by the web, but which require frequent “updates”, is synonymous with sustainability as the studio’s designers explain: “We have endowed this dining space with a sober design and a low profile, hoping to make it more sustainable and long-lasting in the ever-updating market.”
Moreover, the choice of colours and natural materials such as rammed earth, terrazzo, wood, paper as well as fabric creates spaces that are not only pleasantly minimalist, but also bright and serene. The details incorporated into the new restaurant space delicately convey traditional culture and craftsmanship. The floor lamps in the front area, for example, are characterised by a lampshade made of rice paper with varying grain, the selected utensils crystallise the refined skills of Japanese craftsmen, while the three-dimensional geometric lanterns in the dining area use handmade silk membranes.
Overall, NATURE TIMES ART DESIGN’s new Shoku-tei Sushi restaurant is much more than a temporary escape from the daily routine. As the designers – whose approach, pervaded by a strong sense of sustainability, we very much like – eloquently explain: “Spatial design should not simply be limited to creating distinctive experiential consumption scenes for brands, but also needs to convey a positive aesthetic and humanistic care to the public and return to the essence of life, especially in the post-pandemic era.”

Christiane Bürklein


Location: Futian, Shenzhen, China

Year: 2021

Images: Shao Feng

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