Joyce Wang Studio unveils the design of the all-new Kyubi restaurant at London’s most exclusive members’ club, The Arts Club. Kyubi’s new look fuses mid-century contemporary design with an opulent Meiji period aesthetic; an era which symbolises the beginnings of modernisation in Japan at a point when eastern and western principles met. The historic synthesis of cultural heritage and styles is echoed throughout the studio’s interpretation of Kyubi.
At the foyer area, traditional Noren hangings originally used to protect a house flank the entrance as a domestic welcome. The Yosegi timber flooring reference traditional Japanese lacquer chest details with a modernised brass inset motif detail that appears throughout the space. The restaurant opens up into a lively, open Robata, Sushi and Tempura counter where the theatricality of the chefs take centre stage.
The main dining area features a panoramic hand-painted scenery of Japanese fisherman on the Nagara River flooded with mint lily pads, forming the backdrop to our dining scene. The main dining sculptural chandelier is composed of iron strokes representative of Japanese calligraphy and suspended glass blocks; casting fluid beams of light onto our colonial linen ceilings.
The interiors are in a Kinsugi palette of yellow, gold, ombre indigo and currant seen throughout Japanese historical woodblock and screen prints. Table bases profile take after the geometry of slender Meiji-period vases whilst Arita porcelain inspire hand painted Japanese floral motifs in the underside of decorative pendants and sake taps.
Each dining table has a sword mount; also known as tsuba centered against Esmeralda onyx table top. The plate is engraved with Japanese inspired folk art, these ornate details take on a playful and artistic turn with traditionally crafted Japanese custom pieces filtering into the décor.
Our studio’s renovation of Kyubi elevates the restaurant through our narrative, materials and aesthetic flair inspired by traditional Japanese arts and crafts merge seamlessly with colonial western influences to create an immersive interior to pair with the Japanese menu of sushi, sashimi and tempura.
Kyubi which also means fox in Japanese. The name is derived from the legendary nine-tailed fox found in Japanese folktales and plays, it possesses magical power and is depicted as an intelligent animal. The chosen name reflects The Arts Club as one of the most revered and fascinating places in London founded in 1863 by Charles Dickens which provided a space for elite powerful connoisseurs in the Arts, Literature, and Science.
© Joyce Wang Studio 2023