Luminous style in the capital city of design
After being selected as World Design Capital 2010 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID), Seoul has continued its growth and development efforts to achieve an extraordinary level of excellence in the fields of industrial, building and interior design. « Design is a growth driver of the Seoul economy, » declared the city’s mayor on accepting the title of WDC.
Virtually the entire city is involved in the ongoing development process that embraces both public and private spaces.
The restaurant we look at in this article is an outstanding example. Built by the prestigious practice Design Chiho & Partners in record time from March to June 2011, the design project for the Boutique Restaurant Namus is based on a series of flowing lines echoed by trails of light resembling shooting stars in a strongly rhythmic alternation of geometries.
« In this project we based the spatial organisation on a sense of continuity and cadence using repeated and multiplied geometric factors, » explain the architects. « The lines of the overall project are not monotonous and dialogue with a sensual lighting design that represents the real strength of the space. »
The Namus Boutique Restaurant, divided into three halls and six different spaces based on different concepts, is built entirely with natural materials. This, together with striking colour choices and textures, creates a highly eco-friendly image that emphasises the warmth and elegance of the restaurant.
The focal point, a large sculpture suspended from the high ceiling in the main hall’s open-plan kitchen, projects an image of a futuristic metropolis. Dynamically geometric, it serves as a luminous structure and an icon for the entire project.
Chiho placed special emphasis on the choice of materials, alternating matt and glossy surfaces so as to accentuate the rhythmic play of light. The wood clad walls contrast skilfully with the floors, for which the architects chose Walks/1.0 series porcelain tile from Floor Gres in a grey colour and large square format. This product reproduces the aesthetics of quartzite, creating a fascinating blend of nature and technology. The effective textural effects and the rigour and clean styling do justice to the complex design of the space. The intelligent, almost graphic design of the routes uses luminous pastel colours to highlight the various directions.
The Namus has rapidly established itself as one of the most fashionable restaurants in Seoul, garnering enthusiastic reviews in the leading design magazines. It is popular both for its elegance and for its cuisine, which is personally curated by an internationally acclaimed chef.