- Design Team:David Dworkind, Guillaume Ménard, Stephane Gaulin-Brown
- Clients:Groupe Dayan
Text description provided by the architects. The fifth Ryu sushi restaurant just opened its doors on Peel street in downtown Montreal designed by Ménard Dworkind architecture and design. Once demolition of the existing space was completed, evidence of the building’s past was revealed. The original walls were found to be covered in a patchwork of plaster, paint, and wallpaper, that had to accumulate over the ages. This rich collage inspired MRDK to use the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi for the design direction.
Wabi-Sabi is the aesthetic valorization of the effects of time - its patinas and signs of wear and tear. Therefore, the preservation of these walls was paramount during the design process. From this beginning, MRDK chose a minimalist approach and palette to contrast with the existing walls. Suspended from the ceiling is a floating structure made of interconnected wooden battens. This recalls traditional Japanese woodwork and also hides the mechanical ducts above.
An architectural lighting strategy was developed to bring out the warmth and beauty of this large feature. Mirrors were installed at the end of the dining room doubling this repetitive effect. The carefully detailed bar was entirely covered in Polaris, a synthetic mat black material with a velvet smoothness that gives it a futuristic appeal. Suspended above the bar is a long linear light made of 370 pieces of laser-cut aluminum spaced with brass sleeves.
A monolithic brass back bar runs the length of the restaurant and is paired with raw steel, 30 foot long, angle iron anchored to the columns and supporting more than 100 bottles of sake and Japanese whiskey. Opposite the bar is three tables and benches which seem to float. They are cantilevered by steel profiles poured directly into a short concrete wall. Seats are created by wrapping leather around these steel tubes and tables and backrests are made by wrapping the steel with wood. Tables lamps made of folded steel and stretched linen are paired with these floating tables.