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Delight in imperfection: Waku Waku by Biasol

In downtown Melbourne, Waku Waku takes its place as a hospitality destination par excellence, where the ambience is discreet, the food delicious and the interior design perfectly realised.

Delight in imperfection: Waku Waku by Biasol

As a contemporary hospitality space, Waku Waku is cool, elegant and right on brand. Designed by Biasol, with Jean-Pierre Biasol as lead, this project combines the best of Japanese aesthetics with a modern sensibility.

Waku Waku has been created for casual dining and is located in Melbourne’s CBD. At just 35 square metres the floorplate is compact, but the interior has been expertly utilised and there is room to move and good spatial flow.

The concept of the design was inspired by wabi-sabi the Japanese idea of beauty in transience and imperfection. With a highly textural palette that celebrates the natural aesthetics of materiality and the simplicity of the interior that has been expertly executed – at Waku Waku less is more.

The interior includes tan-coloured porcelain tiles, block parquetry herringbone timber flooring and soft-clay, rough-cast rendered walls that create a warm and intimate space. Along with a travertine titanium counter and tabletops, there is chestnut-stained timber seating and sand-coloured crinkled leather upholstery that offer comfort to complement the dining experience. The combination of colours is harmonious, while the layering, irregularities and textures of natural materials add a curated rawness to the aesthetic.

Related: Plus Architecture comment on hospitality design

Lighting is soft and ambient with a large glowing overhead ‘lantern’ that re-interprets the idea of traditional shoji screens and beautifully discreet wall sconces. Outside, the bold signage catches the eye, and referencing Japanese streets, it also reflects the hustle and bustle of the busy CBD laneway in which the restaurant is situated.

Biasol designed not only the interior but also the branding that includes bold graphics and a playful logo to appeal to a younger demographic of patron. Keeping in mind marketing, social media, merchandise and apparel, the brand of Waku Waku is both appealing and appropriate.

Biasol was established by Jean-Pierre Biasol in Melbourne in 2012. The eponymous multidisciplinary studio conceives and realises outstanding projects within the genre of the hospitality, residential, commercial and workplace sectors. Biasol is also well known for its innovative and award-winning product design and extends its expertise to graphics and branding for clients.

With Waku Waku, Biasol’s design is a triumph that elevates this restaurant from the ordinary to a place of sanctuary and quiet luxury. Dining in such surroundings becomes a moment of pleasure in such a metropolis as Melbourne and, once again, Biasol has created a timeless design to complement a new culinary adventure.


Timothy Kaye

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