This project is renovation of popular izakaya in Ginza. The request from our client was extremely simple,”Design us an izakaya that’s fun & exciting.” We thought that if we could combine the familiar bustling atmosphere of a street style izakaya with the traditionally cool & collected appearance of a Ginza establishment, it would lend the izakaya a strange sense of dissonance—in a good way.
Furthermore, in addition to the izakaya usual clientele, we also needed to focus on attracting overseas tourists, so it was important that our concept could come across in some way to every customer. Our consistent underlying theme was “Representation of Hakata.” Here at Hakata-ya, the bustling atmosphere of a Hakata festival is represented on multiple levels.
Customers pass through a glass entrance lined with paper lanterns to a stairwell directly opposite, beyond, they are greeted by a chandelier composed of paper lanterns and a graphic of the Hakata festival by artist. Upon descending the staircase, customers enter the dining area, which is divided into two major blocks, the counter area, dominated by a charcoal grill and an ingredient display, and a bustling public area suitable for parties and banquets.
As customers proceed through the maisonette-like space, it creates a sense of excitement—like a story is unfolding. At the main counter area, we tried to keep decorations to a minimum to put the spotlight on the sake and food and create a calming environment.
The public area beyond is framed on both sides by a series of screens emblazoned with menu items; the graphic of the festival that dominates the back wall lends a sense of dynamism to the space. Designs patterned after those that decorate traditional Hakata weavings are printed on the “noren” inside the establishment, as well as on the plethora of paper lanterns that hang from the giant chandelier above.
Designed to be representative of Hakata in many ways, we hope our concept for this space energizes guests and leaves tourists from at home and abroad with happy memories of Japanese culture.
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