Location: Singapore

Interior Designer: Greymatters

Associated: 1855 Group

Photography: Owen Raggett

The design brief by Owners and Chef Zor Tan was to create and design ‘the best restaurant in town’. The space needed to showcase the chef’s roots and memories from around the world, from his family roots to the techniques he learnt around the world, as well as the ingredients, textures and aromas he discovered. It is a sensory journey to find harmony and balance, the culinary karma. Overall, it seeks to capture all the adventures, challenges and passions that have shaped and transformed him both personally and professionally. Through a guest’s experience of this space, Greymatters needed to convey this sense of discovery around the Chef’s overall journey.

For Greymatters, the key aspect of the project was the opportunity to collaborate alongside established partners and players in the industry that challenge every design detail, all in the name of good design that would enhance a guest’s overall experience. In particular, this project also forced the designers to work within a strict building code due to the heritage status of the site. Repurposing the space played a major part in their design brief and all the way to implementation.

Preserving and repurposing any old building into a commercial use is always going to be a challenge. With this being a heritage building, the iconic Jinrikisha Station, has a triangular shaped footprint with its strict building codes and measures, it really tested the team at Greymatters with the spatial planning and design process.

Instead of going against the wider environment, Greymatters embraced the architecture and the space that was presented to them. What was once the station’s ticket hall is now the main dining room with its expansive double volume space surrounded by beautiful arches. The Peter Gentenaar’s sculpture suspended from the ceiling not only highlights the contrast between the old and new, but it manifests the chef’s circle-of-life journey.