Mr Joe
Figureground Architecture
Burnley, VIC, Australia

Photography Ari Hatzis
Project Specification
Project Name: Mr Joe
Project Type: Commercial Hospitality ,
Location: Burnley, VIC, Australia
Lead Architect: Matt Rawlins ,
Area: 190m2 ,
Project Year: 2018 ,
Photographer: Ari Hatzis
Builder: Humecon Pty. Ltd. ,
Project Team: Kate Crosby ,
Surveyors: Metro Building Surveyors ,
Location: Burnley, VIC, Australia ,

Figureground Architecture prove that designing a modern Japanese restaurant can be done without the standard kitsch representations commonly associated with Japanese culture.

The brief was to create a space that would complement the contemporary Japanese fusion menu. Whilst the team at Figureground Architecture wanted the restaurant to feel ‘Japanese’, it was important to them that the references should be indirect and contemporary rather than simplistic kitsch representations.

A Long Row Of Casual Bench Seats Along The Wall Are Informally Divided By Curtains, Allowing Greater Privacy To Private Groups If Require

The design brief given to Figureground was to create a space that would complement the contemporary Japanese fusion menu.

Recalling The Techniques Of Traditional Japanese Solid Timber Furniture Making.

The budget was relatively low, so the concept had to be robust, efficient and most importantly, cost effective. The architects chose to define the main dining area by creating a long service ‘pod’ which would provide the restaurant with a focus and also neatly conceal the preparation, cooking, washing and amenities beyond. The primary materiality is a pale plywood, referencing the pine species which is typically used in Japanese construction. This language is further reinforced throughout the restaurant furniture, and utilises a thick style of edge detailing, recalling the techniques of traditional Japanese solid timber furniture making.

The Brief Was To Create A Space That Would Complement The Contemporary Japanese Fusion Menu.

The architectural concept had to be robust, efficient and most importantly, cost effective.

The Budget Was Relatively Low, So The Concept Had To Be Robust, Efficient And Most Importantly, Cost Effective.

The existing ceiling was low and contained a tangled mess of piping from the apartments above. Matt Rawlins and Kate Crosby addressed this visual distraction by suspending a layer of steel reinforcement mesh by which they could attach lighting and curtain tracks. A datum of blue has been applied across the ceiling, creating a bold and contrasting colour theme that draws from the traditional hues evident in Japanese arts and furnishings.

The Existing Ceiling Was Low And Contained A Tangled Mess Of Piping From The Apartments Above.

A striking datum of blue has been applied across the ceiling, creating a bold and contrasting colour theme that captivates patrons.

The Primary Materiality Is A Pale Plywood, Referencing The Pine Species Which Is Typically Used In Japanese Construction.

The seating opportunities are varied, with a low communal table, bar stools, separate round tables and a more intimate niche built in to the plywood joinery pod. A long row of casual bench seats along the wall are informally divided by curtains, allowing greater privacy to private groups if required.

The Seating Opportunities Are Varied, With A Low Communal Table, Bar Stools.

Contemporary Japanese design without the usual kitsch elements associated with Japanese culture.

This Language Is Further Reinforced Throughout The Restaurant Furniture, And Utilises A Thick Style Of Edge Detailing.

Crafted, mosaic-tiled columns evoke traditional Japanese pottery and create a contrasting foreground to the rough cement rendered walls beyond. The minimalist, black circular wall lights are the final nod to the land of the rising sun.

We Addressed This Visual Distraction By Suspending A Layer Of Steel Reinforcement Mesh.
We Chose To Define The Main Dining Area By Creating A Long Service ‘pod’ Which Would Provide The Restaurant With A Focus.

The minimalist, black circular wall lights installed by Figureground Architects are the final nod to the land of the rising sun.

Whilst We Wanted The Restaurant To Feel ‘japanese’, It Was Important To Us That The References Should Be Indirect And Contemporary.

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Published 18 December, 2018
Photography  Ari Hatzis
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