12th January 2022 | IN HOSPITALITY DESIGN | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn This week’s instalment of Project of the Week interior design series features an arty biophilic Oriental restaurant design by 2021 SBID Awards Finalist, Deckora Design. Yakuza is the most buzzed-about Asian restaurant of Lisbon set at the ground floor of Hotel AVANI AVENIDA and offering the best selection of creative sushi in town. Deckora Design assisted the wider Minor hotel group in shaping a refined yet eccentric environment featuring fine walnut details, polished stone superficies and hand-painted art murals. The original commercial space, situated amid a dense urban context in the back yard of a busy high street, represented a challenge of great complexity for the designers due to the lack of natural light. The tailored made labour of Deckora Design’s team transformed a difficult space into the trendy Oriental restaurant of the Portuguese capital where art and biophilic design play a crucial role. SBID Awards Category: Restaurant Design Practice: Deckora Design Project: Yakuza Restaurant Location: Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Portugal What was the client’s brief? The brief is the creation of a cosy yet seductive interior where dark fittings, comfortable furniture and warm lighting contribute to a truly unique experience for the guest. What inspired the design of the project? The project’s holistic approach, rooted in systematic design research, is considering all aspects of the environment: from architecture and lighting, to furniture and art. The concept was a modern and irreverent reinterpretation of the Japanese restaurant. The overall emblematic proposal shows how good quality design, and the successful transformation of a space, can have a successful impact and provide an authentic experience that goes beyond dining. What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project? Yakuza Restaurant represented a great challenge, starting from the location situated amid a dense urban context with lack of natural lighting. Deckora Design delivered a flawless design enhancing the intrinsic characteristics of the property. The design team managed to exceed the expectations of the different stakeholders by respecting budget constraints and demanding deadlines during a world pandemic. The final outcome satisfied the client’s complex brief and requirements, integrating motifs and key elements of the pre-existing Yakuza brand into a new, unique and innovative concept. What was your team’s highlight of the project? Art played an important role in the project; we commissioned hand-painted murals from the local artists. Art is also present in the main highlight of the project and the main attraction of the commercial space – the sushi counter, a 5×10 meters rectangular central artefact representing the beating heart. The austerity of the walnut louvers and the rigorous central slate are juxtaposed to the playfulness of the backlit ceiling canvas. This distinctive piece of art, hand painted by the urban artist Smile, is characterised by vibrant tones and portrays a huge Japanese koi, providing indirect lighting to the entire room. Why did you enter this project into the SBID Awards? The SBID Awards is one of the most influential and well organised awards in the Architecture and Interior Design industries. Being part of this programme is definitely something to be proud of, and being a finalist is already a great reward for us after the great amount of care and time our project required. I also believe that getting personally involved, contributing to the community and being exposed to the work of other colleagues is an important part of our professional development. View the full project Questions answered by Camilla Degli Esposti, Director, Deckora Design. We hope you feel inspired by this week’s design! If you missed the last instalment of Project of the Week, featuring a spacious penthouse design by Lori Dundas Interior Design, click here to see more.