Chotto Matte Restaurant by Andy Martin Architects

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“Chotte Matte is located in an imposing 60ʼs building at the north end of Frith St. The internal dining space is 450sqm, including in this is approximately 100sqm bar area with some external dining along the Frith St frontage. Access to the restaurant is via a formal entrance off Frith St, entering a Reception Lobby where one can either enter the Bar and Sushi Bar or reach the first floor restaurant via a spiral stair.

The brief was to create a Japanese restaurant that was to be very individual. It would be a hybrid of sophistication and the slightly ʻundergroundʼ. The client wanted to give a younger market access to a quality product that was both affordable and aspiring. amaʼs belief is that architecture should be both inspiring and aspiring.

ama extensively researched their brief with trips to Tokyo, seeking out the essence of distinctly modern Japanese cuisine. Andy Martin says: “I wanted to create a truly sumptuous atmosphere without the stereotypical visual references. We looked at the contrast that exists between traditional and contemporary Japanese culture and this duality that exists between the two and have tried to integrate that sense into our design. I think the trip to Tokyo gave me the confidence to move away from the traditional references.”

ama creates a dramatic sense of layering within the space from the graphic wall panels, graffiti abused interventions and artistic signals. There is nothing obvious here, street art is protected behind bespoke cast glass wall panels, natural Lavastone elements glow with colour and the dining tableʼs thermochromic paint hides manga illustrations. Andy sayʼs “That the layering of both concepts and visual elements was a such a strong and a quite obvious aspect of the all parts of Japanese culture, I seemed to have a constant smile on my face where ever I went and what ever I saw when in Japan.” andymartinarchitects.com

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