Architects: Facet Studio
Location: Sydney NSW Australia
Design Team: Yoshihito Kashiwagi, Olivia Shih, Neo Di Sheng, Benjamin Chan
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 77.0 sqm
Photographs: Katherine Lu, Andrew Chung
Within boundless darkness there floats a weightless light.
“I want to make this restaurant a conceptual space, where people appreciate, then consume, Japanese cuisine,” said the owner of Uchi Lounge. Looking at it independent of the cuisine provided by the restaurant, so called “conceptual space”, is a way to view the world without reference to solidity. However, an architectural space without solidity does not exist. There we considered, perhaps a “conceptual restaurant space” is where it enables people to simply concentrate on the act of food appreciation.
A 13m long ribbon of light floating in the space with no structural support in its length. A massive 8.4m x 1.6m concrete table firmly established at the centre of the space. By structuring the space with measures unimaginable in normal restaurants, people are overwhelmed by the unusual scale, hence paralysed about the scale reference within Uchi Lounge. The walls and ceiling painted in a boundless black seem to continue into eternity – it is as though the ceiling does not exist, only the weightless plane of light is hovering above. “Space” becomes an abstract concept as common references fail, and at this point in time, the cuisine on the table, in front of the eyes, is the only reality; the act of food appreciation, is where one concentrates all senses.
Information about the restaurant space disappears into background; only the food on the tongue is taking the centre stage in one’s mind. We believe a space of such abstraction is appropriate for appreciating the delicacy in Japanese cuisine.