This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
constraints, internal volumes, architecture and natural light exposure. Here at the 23rd and 24th floor of the Hilton Metropole we have a split level reception, long and narrow main space with low ceiling and many windows: so I immediately decided that this could become a “premium class” virtual spacecraft and art gallery to take guests on a culinary, artistic and experiential journey. I believe that the hospitality designer’s first responsibility is to maximise operational efficiencies and customer experience irrespective of the space provided, thus optimizing commercial opportunities for investors.

It is probably the first bar/dining space in

the world to feature sculptural tiles designed by Frank Lloyd Wright - here customised with a titanium tint - used in numerous Hollywood movies such as Twin Peaks, Mulholland Drive, Black Rain and Blade Runner. To create an uplifting, sophisticated yet

strong visual experience, the overall colour palette is deliberately muted, using a duotone scheme rich in light, shadow and texture: carpeting in graphite hues with subtle 3D digital pattern, soft titanium metallic walls and white ceilings covered with intricate space-age panels and pipeworks. Comfortable seating includes a variety of

booths, swivel stools and pod chairs in tones of deep blue, warm grey and shimmering black, upholstered in innovative polymer fabrics with a 3D cell-structure, developed initially for the high-tech sportswear and fashion industries. Te multi-sensory creative vibe of KOJAWAN is extended throughout the space with an installation of over 50 pop art pieces curated by Henry Chebaane, including some of his own works, solo and collaborations, with evocative names such as ‘genius loci’, ‘resident alien’ and ‘ichiban rebel’. Chebaane, who has kindly provided us

with project detail below, has also created for KOJAWAN a multitude of innovative experiential features including a sculptural Laurent Perrier champagne bar, a kinetic Kirin beer bar, customised airline trolleys for serving ‘space-age’ cocktails, hip staff grooming in bespoke black denims and aluminium menus with manga-style typography. He has even introduced a house scent (Odeur 53 by Comme des Garçons) to be sprayed inside the bill folder. Tese collective features contribute to make a fun and exciting, one-of-a kind bar and dining destination.

GS How did you get the project in the first place? Henry Chebaane (HC) Te project was started by two very well respected London chefs: Bjorn van der Horst and Omar Romero. Tey were

looking to create a fun, casual but high quality destination restaurant that would bring a new experience and design paradigm to what is a very crowded market place (London). Tey knew by word of mouth about the reputation of Blue Sky Hospitality studio to create innovative, unique, trend-setting design concepts. We immediately got on very well and have not looked back since.

GS What was the brief and what is the concept? HC Te brief was simply to create a new visual and aesthetic environment that would stand out from the crowd. Te dining concept is a modern take on the Japanese izakaya, which is an informal drinking and dining space widespread in East Asia. Based on my observations and frequent travels to Korea, Taiwan and Japan we decided with the client’s team to extend the design story-telling and brand identity elements to include this entire region and their respective capitals.

GS Where did you get your inspiration? HC I always create design concepts as a composition of several simultaneous layers of narrative so that the operator can communicate to the market with a diverse but unique product proposition. In turn, the audience of customers can then find various points of interest to observe during each meal. Tis approach tends to encourage repeat visits, social media engagement and a dynamic reputation in the market. For KOJAWAN, beside my numerous travels to Asia I have also used as inspiration numerous literary, musical and cinematographic works from the likes of Philip K. Dick, David Bowie and Stanley Kubrick as well as Asian animated movies (anime) and graphic novels (manga).

GS Did the site location influence your approach to the design? HC Yes, for each project I always take into account parameters such as local geography, physical circulation, guest journey, operational

GS What makes KOJAWAN unique? HC A short answer would be: no brick walls, mismatched furniture and filament bulbs. A longer description would be that the design creates an alternative experience of reality: we have collected elements from the imaginary realm of science fiction found in books, movies and pop videos then juxtapose them with the sum of collective subliminal impressions of what futuristic Asian metropolises look and feel

like, and reframed it all within a multi-sensory spatial context that can be experienced by all as a tangible reality. Tis is the opposite of what is currently happening in the digital economy so I call this ‘real virtuality’.

GS What aspect of the completed project are you most proud of? HC Te team! It’s a small independent operation in an unglamorous part of town, up 23 floors inside a large corporate hotel yet it has achieved in just a few weeks after opening a level of market recognition and appreciation that delivers well above expectations. Te design might play a part in this though not just for its entertainment value but also because of the positive environment it provides for the recruitment and motivation of the fantastic team cooking and operating daily on site. Tey are the real stars of the show. KOJAWAN, 23rd Floor, Hilton Metropole Hotel, 225 Edgware Road, London W2. Tel: +44 (0)20 8088 0111

GS Magazine 15

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56