Tetsujin is a 440sqm Japanese restaurant situated in Emporium Melbourne. The narrow 7metre linear site is spatially defined for 3 different dining experiences: the sushi train, the Izakaya, and the bar. The design is characterized by elements of opposite extremes: order, system, and repetition versus chaos, heat and energy.
Entering from within the Emporium, the main wide entry space is about order, system, and repetition, which is akin to the sushi train dining experience. The use of European Oak timber flooring paired with pale pink & white paint throughout forms a restraining canvas around the seating space.Referencing to Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, this clean sexy backdrop is layered with clinical white tiles, plus a series of custom made LED ring lights that render the space almost Tokyo Subway like. The idea of ‘repetition’ is also further enhanced with the overhead timber grid modules, exemplifying Japanese joinery making and craftsmanship.
The experience at the other secondary entry is completely different: With an entry of less than 2m wide, this is about chaos, heat and energy, like the Izakaya dining experience and the bar. Mechanical services and lightings are exposed, lighting levels are kept low to evoke the Tokyo nightlife. Floor to ceiling graphic wallpapers of Tetsujinby Principal Design, is the reinterpretation and deconstruction of the iconic Japanese robot iron man, the name sake of the restaurant.
While the original purpose of the site was to be used as a store room and not intended to be leased out as a food premise, there were many site limitations and constraints to be resolved.
However these constraints were embraced in the design of the fit-out:Due to thelack of hydraulic services, we have elevated majority of the floor space and created ramps and steps as forms of egress from both entrances, these in turn becomes the major lyrical element in our design. With hurdle such as this, we managed to follow through our design concept and delivered the project brief: A seamless transition of circulation from one end to the other, that are programmatically and visually distinct.
Our aim was to create a journey and experience that is distinct enough in our exploration of opposite extremes within a space, and yet characterized by parallel constituents which brings the space together as a whole.
This is realized through the integration of different layers and components bringing together the dynamics of colors, light and mood. With the design intent and the original state of the site, it was important that neither of these are compromised.
Material Used :
1. Tiles – Academy Tiles
2. Tiles – Classic Ceramics
3. Custome Dining Chair – Plywood from Austral Plywoods
4. Paint - Dulux
5. Tables by PGR Furniture
6. Bar/dining stools – Meizai