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Kent Hahne, successful restauranteur and cofounder of restaurant chain Vapiano, launched GinYuu, his latest concept restaurant, in late 2013. GinYuu employs restaurant chain elements like front cooking and chip payment, which have already proved successful at Vapiano. Otherwise GinYuu signals a new gastronomic departure, offering a pan-Asian Pacific kitchen combined with a lounge concept and cocktail menu. A pilot restaurant in Bonn was followed in October 2014 by a second location in Stuttgart’s new Milaneo shopping mall. The latter was designed by Ippolito Fleitz.

Only a few elements of the original restaurant concept in Bonn remain in the Stuttgart interior: the round tables with driftwood finds set under glass and the floor-to-ceiling filters made from spruce bricks. The aim in Stuttgart was to create atmospherically charged spatial situations, which invite visitors to dive into the world of GinYuu, leaving the shopping mall environment behind them. Asian food culture with its simple, functional design and its sensory overload of smells and sounds, but also the sultry, steamy atmosphere of an American southern states diner served as inspiration for the concept. Think ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’ meets Florida Keys.

The spatial topography centres around the core areas of reception desk, bar and kitchen counter. The reception desk is immediately opposite the main entrance, positioned beneath a suspended canopy of lamps. It is here that chip cards are handed out on arrival and returned on departure. An open kitchen complete with front cooking stations extends along the long wall. Narrow bands of tiles in the Corporate Colour dark violet cover the walls inside the kitchen area. The wall above the counter is decorated with handmade wooden panels of driftwood. This is one of the many features of the wood theme that reoccur throughout the space. Oak floorboards on the floor and counter front provide a keynote.

Violet barstools, dark stained, roughly sawn table tops and bleached ceiling shutters provide accents of colour. A free arrangement of shutter struts and tall metal filters, taut ropes stretched against wooden walls in the cubicles and large ceiling fans are all part of a collage of pan-Asian motifs. Pillars are covered from floor to ceiling in white tiles. Stuttgart-based illustrator Claudia Wagner has visualised the concept and attitude of GinYuu in a series of lively, beautifully executed illustrated motifs. All the illustrations were applied by hand directly onto the tiles.

GinYuu offers a differentiated choice of seating. A long, leather sofa with a button back and low coffee tables invite visitors to while away their time. Barstools around a counter provide a more bar-like atmosphere, whereas the tall tables between the bar and counter and along the window façade recommend themselves to a quick snack with a view of the new Stuttgart Library thrown in for free. And those who prefer a more secluded meal will enjoy dining in one of the cubicles separated by tall wooden filters.

The GinYuu materials world is all about wood. A relaxed atmosphere is brought about by the use of different types, colours and surfaces of wood, creating an almost Caribbean beach bar flair. With a differentiated range of seating options, this spatial concept brings the GinYuu crossover of cocktail bar and restaurant chain to life.

Design: Ippolito Fleitz Group
Photography: Zooey Braun

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