Project Team

design: LAVA


lighting: Kezu
furniture: Stylecraft
tiles: Design Republic

LAVA has recently completed a new restaurant, kyo-to, for visionary developer Dr Stanley Quek, Greencliff Executive Chairman, in Sydney’s hip and happening Chippendale precinct.

Chris Bosse, director of LAVA said: “We interpreted the brief for a traditional Kyoto eatery as a fusion of traditional and contemporary elements.”

“We combined traditional solid timber logs with CNC cut backlit plywood screens, 100 year old brick walls with contemporary designer bamboo lights, and a heritage 19thc courtyard with digitally printed Geisha banners.”

The spatial journey starts from a small entry pavilion lined in plywood shelves with sake ceramics, through to a red-columned dining room referencing Kyoto’s famed Fushimi Inari Shrine. It opens into a courtyard under lanterns by Arik Levy for Forestier with living bamboo in planters, Stylecraft stools, and Australian furniture made from recycled timber fences. Striking Geisha wall paintings by local graffiti artist Scott Marsh complete the fit out.

Back inside, the kitchen is framed with a modern interpretation of classical Japanese screens and features contemporary Dutch tiles from Design Republic that emulate traditional Japanese brick patterns. And, as with old Japanese shop houses, ceramic pots line the shelves.

Bosse said: “Dr Quek gave LAVA a challenge to do something special – create a fusion of old and new elements – and we did it in less than four weeks from brief to completion. This is our first restaurant fit-out. The kyoto project continues LAVA’s work bridging East and West, past and present, crossing boundaries, to create a lively experience.

“The new restaurant is located in ‘Spice Alley’ in Kensington Street at Broadway, which represents a fusion of different countries, experiences and tastes. This laneway attracts hundreds of local and international visitors every day and kyo-to was “the missing course to finish off the gastronomic journey.

“LAVA is excited to be part of Dr Quek’s extraordinary vision for the transformation of central Broadway. The new restaurant will contribute to his mission to create an extraordinary sense of place. LAVA looks forward to designing more creative eating spaces in the future.”