Cho Cho San interprets the mood and feeling of a Japanese izakaya without using obvious thematic references. The singularity of this idea has been artfully translated through each element within the space. Exercising incredible restraint, the designer has avoided interior theatrics in favour of a simple, well-crafted and honest approach. The designer has successfully turned what would otherwise have been a dark, stuffy brick cavern into an incredibly well-executed, light-filled and joyous space.
Cho Cho San is an interpretation of a Japanese izakaya. The design references contemporary Japanese architecture using a minimal palette of concrete, birch ply, white paint and back lighting. The design intent was to achieve a Japanese spirit without using any obvious references. The design team wanted to infuse the design with a Japanese sensibility and simplicity – a simple, effortless and honest solution. The entire ceiling is a stretched material that is back-lit to create a natural glow to the room, reminiscent of a shoji screen. This sets the overall ambience of the room. The ceiling is dimmed to achieve a beautiful light quality, which is almost unrecognizable as a light source. Simplicity is also achieved by concealing the services, airconditioning and audio behind overhead perforated panels that primarily function as acoustic absorbers. Finally, the design responds instinctively to the space inherited – the long, disjointed dining room, the limited street access through the side door and the lack of street presence. The designers wanted to give the space life and texture and connect the rooms with a very simple element – the bar.
The Award for Hospitality Design is supported by Laminex. The Australian Interior Design Awards are presented by the Design Institute of Australia, Diversified Communications Australia and Artichoke magazine. For more images of this project, see the Australian Interior Design Awards gallery.