A Little Piece Of American Soul In Finland!

September 23, 2012

Another weekend has come and gone in the land of the sand and this weekend I mostly spent it in the restaurants of Dubai. It got me thinking about what makes a good restaurant good. I know there are 101 ingredients that go into creating a winning restaurant but one ingredient I feel that separates the awesome restaurants from the not so awesome ones (apart from food) is soul. With that in mind today we are featuring a project from Finland that has soul by the bucket full.

Chico’s Restaurant is an Americana inspired restaurant, although based in Finland the design is something that you would expect to find in the cooler areas of the American South. As described by the designers, Amerikka Design Office:

The visual standpoint for the restaurant’s look is modern-day USA, manifested through a wild mix of urban pulse and human warmth. The restaurant interior is marked by bold expression, beautifully fading surfaces, genuine materials and murals by painters Juha Lahtinen and Samuli Suonperä. The restaurant premises are designed to function seamlessly through all seasons and to serve a wide range of requirements.

Favorite elements for me in this project have to start with those murals by Juha Lahtinen and Samuli Suonperä, they are the showstoppers as far as the main design features go. Whilst also adding great texture and color to the design they also add a real sense of coolness to the space.  I also love the use of the raw materials such as the wood paneled partitions, the rough furnishings and the flooring, this coupled with the oversized bucket lights and the exposed ceiling give this project a great deal of depth and texture.

There is nothing that is flat or one dimensional and this is so important in restaurant design as soul and character comes from the atmosphere, the ability to relax and be at ease contributes to a positive and thriving atmosphere and with this project I feel that being at ease and relaxed would not be a problem.  The texture in this project is most impressive, from the images below you can see how the designers have been clever in using so many different materials yet the design is so seamless, there is a real fluidity and blend to the space which is brilliant as it could so easily have been a disaster mish mashing so many different elements, the designers have done an awesome job in getting the balance just right.