When east meets west

When east meets west

New sushi restaurant unveils its modern Japanese design in the Romantic French capital

France: Named after the famous Japanese chef, Kyoichi Kinugawa, the new Japanese restaurant in Paris has recently swung its double-door entrance right open for customers to come in and experience the fusion design.

Renowned local design agency Gilles & Boissier teamed up with Romain Costa, president of the Black Code Group, to capture the spirit of traditional Japanese design complete with modern Parisian elements, which make up Kinugawa’s intimate interior.

Patrick Gilles, designer, Gilles & Boissier, explained: “Kinugawa was designed as an invitation to escape the hustle and uproar of the city, a place where one’s mind and senses are immersed in a new universe—poetic, convivial and contemporary.”

The concept centred on reviving traditional Japanese elements and spirit while instilling contemporary twists. In doing so, the designers worked with a team of French artisans and artists to help create the 6m high wall design and the vibrant red rug that stretches across the floor of the restaurant’s entrance level.
The establishment consists of two floors and three sections including the bar, “L’Atelier” and a large main room.

Upon entering Kinugawa, customers are welcomed by a romantic setting complete with a black granite bar that’s complimented by an amber tinted mirror, which lines the wall behind. Just opposite the room is a large, dramatic black and white mural. And just beneath the artwork, is a long bench covered in bronze leather. Between the two halves, an eye-catching red rug sprawls across the floor, evoking the hue of a Geisha’s lipstick.

“We wanted to create a happening on this wall; something touching that gives the feeling of the human hand. We love to add situ works of art to the places we design—it brings warmth into a room,” said Dorothée Boissier, designer, Gilles & Boissier.

She continued: “For Kinugawa, we chose Alix Waline, a young French illustrator and painter who works with black felt-tip pens…She actually transcended the fresco genre, and gorgeously played with pointillism in a way that calls to mind the water movements of Japanese prints.”

Other artistic features include the wooden latticework that borders the stairway, allowing visitors to catch a subtle glimpse of the overall scene while heading upstairs to the “l’Atelier”. An intimate and small room, l’Atelier is a mystical space where one can watch sushi chefs in their element, preparing cultural cuisine.

Last but not least is the main room, which contains large, preserved volumes, creating a hospitable space for customers to enjoy their meals.

Natural materials dominate the design, such as dark and light cedar wood, and fired and polished black stone, while graphic rugs mix into the layout, “lending itself to the classic Japanese culinary experience, with echoes of Japanese Zen lifestyle,” Gilles explains.

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