Project name: Katana Robata & Sushi Bar
Category: Restaurant Within a Hotel
Location: The Address Hotel, Dubai
Date completed: July 2015
Interior designer: Paul Bishop

Bishop Design’s client brief was short but directly to the point through the exchange of two or three emails. The brief from Los Angeles was to create a restaurant which was to be located facing the Burj Khalifa, downtown Dubai. The client requested the design of the venue to loosely follow what you would envisage as “Mad Max meets Zen Catacomb” with “lots of texture and dramatic lighting”. One of the most important elements expressed by the client during the brief and concept phase was the use of a giant redwood tree. The tables, sushi and robata bar due to its natural depth of colour and texture being unlike any other wood to help make a dramatic statement. The concept was to focus on using raw, traditional, natural elements, textures and visual layers in dynamic geometric forms to differentiate from the brand’s global venues and provide an identity unique to Dubai or one that could be used as a benchmark for all future restaurants within the region; contrasting features to the natural palettes could then be delicately used through lighting, artwork and furniture to enhance the design in a more urban contemporary manor. In addition, subtle Japanese tatami patterns deliver a cohesion and reassurance back to traditions.

A contemporary urban Japanese hybrid that plays on visual layering, texture and tradition. Japanese tatami patterns etched and engraved into fluid concrete surfaces that carefully harmonise enlarged distressed solid wooden planks with intricate inlaied patterns. Overhead angular geometric and abstracted forms create the layers between the exposed ceiling void. Graffiti commissioned artworks decorate the distressed brick walls of both the Robatayaki, sushi and drinks bar, it is here where the crystals rain down in a suspended animation for a more feminine touch adding luxury and refinement. A combination of both natural skin and undulating split-faced stone adorn the walls, brass patina shingles tumble across various vertical surfaces complementing the smoke metal bar counter. In addition you will find a combination of charcoaled carbonised wood, rusted ‘Corten’ steel, printed metallic metal screens and a raw trunk of red American cedar cladding for the Robatayaki, sushi bar and general dining table tops, all of which, gives a fascinating and ‘rare to see’ combination of mother nature’s hard materials.

The use of complementary materials, textures and visual layers with the pre-approved use of American Redwood against dramatic lighting features and our ability to transition from traditional to contemporary without compromising origin or authenticity were some of the main reasoning behind the chosen design. Combined with intelligent use of screening to provide an intimate and diverse seating arrangement and without compromise to the unity of the overall dining experience, the client felt Bishop Design had pushed the boundaries of natural progression into contemporary urban living and effortlessly bridging two contrasting styles. The combination between these different textures and other components encapsulates the atmosphere that the client required. The interior created exudes a serene elegance exquisitely juxtaposed against the raw urban qualities of the materials used, elegant yet underlying, urban yet raw. Once inside, you are seduced and intoxicated by the interiors visual aesthetics which are enhanced through the stunning application of innovative texture, materials, surfaces and finite styling with dynamic lighting that all together set against the alluring backdrop of the Burj Khalifa.