Ace Hotel Kyoto hosts Noma pop-up restaurant

OEO Studio Noma Kyoto, Photography by Tanaka Kotaro
OEO Studio Noma Kyoto, Photography by Tanaka Kotaro

Running until 20 May, Japan’s Ace Hotel Kyoto will host an exclusive Noma Kyoto pop-up restaurant.

A new Noma pop-up restaurant in Japan will run until 20 May within the design-driven Ace Hotel Kyoto. The pop-up is a collaboration between Noma and Atelier Ace.

Danish design firm OEO Studio, founded by Thomas Lykke and Anne-Marie Buemann, has showcased its signature Japandi style for the interiors of the new pop-up, working closely with Noma’s residence stylist Christine Rudolph to create a space that reflects Noma and the culinary vision for Noma Kyoto.

The Japan outpost comes after successful pop-ups in Tokyo, Sydney, and Tulum.

Ace Hotel Kyoto’s existing restaurant space includes a high-ceiling main dining area with views out to a garden oasis, alongside a secondary dining room and two separate private dining rooms. For the noma residency, all these spaces have been transformed, following a design brief to capture the spirit of noma, infused with the design traditions of Japan and Kyoto.

Ace Hotel Kyoto was designed in partnership with legendary architect Kengo Kuma and longtime Ace collaborators, Commune Design. The hotel, grounded in an East-meets-West design philosophy, features three distinct restaurants led by award-winning culinary partners Wes Avila, Naomi Pomeroy, and Marc Vetri.

For Nomo Kyoto, OEO Studio sought to subtly blend Nordic and Japanese culture to create a warm and tactile interior enhanced with dimmed lighting, welcoming acoustics, and an earthy palette of colours.

Inspired by Kyoto’s rich history of crafts, OEO Studio worked with some of the best local craftspeople using materials from ceramics to tatami, textiles, bamboo, and wood. Traditional materials and surfaces have been featured in new and unexpected ways, such as coloured tatami mats used as acoustic wall screens and room dividers by Yokoyama Tatami.

Architectural bamboo structures suspended from the ceiling subtly assist with zoning the space and establishing a more intimate atmosphere. For this, OEO Studio worked closely with a Tenugui maker and Copenhagen-based Natural Material Studio to create the illusion of an underwater kelp forest in the main dining room.

Bespoke design objects include pendant lights made from compressed seaweed by Jonas Edvard — the creator of the Algae Paper Lamp, made from Danish algae and thermoflock paper, which was originally developed in 2018 for Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen.

René Redzepi, chef and owner of Noma, comments “It takes about two years to plan a noma pop-up. Everything needs to be thoroughly considered — from the choice of produce and producers to what the restaurant should look like. Here, we had no doubt at all that OEO Studio were the right people for the project. With all their experience and expertise in design and craftsmanship in Japan, it has been a perfect match. OEO Studio has managed to create a space for Noma Kyoto that is based on our identity yet also shows great respect for local design and craftsmanship. It has been an immense pleasure to work with Thomas and Anne-Marie.”

Noma Kyoto commenced on 15 March and will run until 20 May. Lunch and dinner seatings will be hosted four days per week — Wednesday through Saturday.

Photography by: Kotaro Tanaka

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