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Monday, June 17, 2013

Back to Basics

By Marina Correa
Photography: Benjamin Nadjib

 
Japanese restaurant WakuWaku designed by Ippolito fleitz Group
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The re-launch of Japanese restaurant WakuWaku and its organic food store into one single entity in Hamburg, Germany, has managed to keep its customers engaged. But an ambience created by predominantly untreated wood is hardly something a customer would expect to see in a fast food format-type restaurant…


Designed by the Ippolito Fleitz Group, who are known to go beyond the simple architectural and interior vocabulary and get under their client’s skin; (they create projects that are part of the whole yet distinctly unique), WakuWaku stands for an ecologically sustainable philosophy and the comprehensive use of untreated wood communicates this message upfront, albeit subtly.

Japanese restaurant WakuWaku designed by Ippolito fleitz Group
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The 145 sq. m. long, open format provides a vibrant and spacious café-like feel to the space. In the centre lies a lengthy table punctuated by different shapes of chairs providing visual relief. Interestingly, the chair legs are dipped in violet, which is the restaurant’s corporate colour – giving them an instant connection.
 
Japanese restaurant WakuWaku designed by Ippolito fleitz Group
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Japanese restaurant WakuWaku designed by Ippolito fleitz Group
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Rough wooden surfaces are juxtaposed against intricate wall sketches created by Chris Rehberger using taut strings and a canopy of fine wire lamps that resemble quirky-shaped spider webs and make for some very unusual pieces of art.

Japanese restaurant WakuWaku designed by Ippolito fleitz Group
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Solid floor-to-ceiling wood paneling creates a stage for displaying food products in the WakuWaku world. On the opposite side lies bench seating in continuity with the rest of the décor set against  a backdrop of a wooden paneled wall, which displays text ‘Good for the Earth’ – the only direct reference of its philosophical statement. Rustic wooden panels partially cover the flooring, while their signature ladder-shelf urges one to try out some of their irresistible goodies.

Japanese restaurant WakuWaku designed by Ippolito fleitz Group
.

In times, where flashy materials and cutting-edge technology are considered essential for making a space stand out and attract footfalls, WakuWaku breaks away from the stereotype and goes back to basics – when life was uncomplicated, conversations unhurried and food appreciated for its freshness and purity - principles that no amount of flamboyance can beat. token:KUAFTM2K3B8C

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