Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Denmark

May 8, 2018

East meets West in OEO Studio’s design for new flagship restaurant Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Copenhagen.

Copenhagen-based OEO Studio has completed the design of a new flagship restaurant for Sticks ‘n’ Sushi. Located on the top floor of the new Tivoli Corner building in Copenhagen, overlooking the city’s historic Tivoli Gardens and skyline, Tivoli corner is a multi-functional development designed by renowned architects Pei Cobb Freed & Partners of New York. The newly built space is home to retail outlets, restaurants, a food hall and 21 new guestrooms for the Nimb Hotel.

Sticks ‘n’ Sushi approached OEO Studio in the summer of 2016, the studio worked on the project for a year and half, transforming the restaurant’s Japanordic brand DNA into a unique and bespoke spatial experience. The design concept devised by OEO reflects the meeting of East and West and draws on inspiration from Japan reinterpreted into a modern European context. The result is a warm and welcoming space with many evocative details, bespoke design elements and high quality materials blended together to offer a taste of Japan in central Copenhagen. Early in the design process, OEO Studio was faced with a challenging rooftop restaurant and the complex architecture of the building itself. “The building is unusual in that there are no straight walls in the space and floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides,” OEO Studio Creative Director and Founder, Thomas Lykke tells darc. “We noticed that a birds-eye view of the building resembled the shape of a fish and chose to use this apparent outline as an abstract starting point for designing the restaurant space.” The design team employed deep, earthy ceramic tiles by Italian company Mutina on the floor of the restaurant to subtly represent the scales, fins and eye of the fish. The whimsical design detail would be impossible for the human eye to grasp while in the space without prior awareness of the designer’s intent. Bespoke artwork has been introduced to elevate and enhance the diner’s experience, including a small group of handmade wire fish created by Danish designer Anders Hermansen. The fish gently guide diners from street level to the heart of the restaurant on the third floor.

The restaurant design comprises a mix of dining-height and high counter seating, offering a range of views to the open kitchen and out across the city skyline. A private dining room that can accommodate groups of up to 20 diners features a bespoke stained ash 6.4m long table designed by OEO Studio and warm wooden oak flooring. The space, when not in use for private dining, offers casual seating for smaller groupings along the table. 

The designers at OEO paid careful attention to the acoustics of the space to balance the bustle of a busy restaurant with intimate dinner conversation. Innovative Rhomb panels in a dark anthracite shade by Troldtekt have been introduced to strengthen acoustics, resulting in an unobtrusive and discreet decorative look. Throughout the restaurant, OEO Studio has incorporated superior interior materials including high-quality ash and oak, Swedish Oland limestone, hot rolled steel and Italian ceramics. Large Pico tiles by Bouroullec for Mutina feature in the bathrooms along with bespoke wooden cabinets, natural stone wash-basins, black Dornbracht faucets and lighting by Danish design brand Frama.

The centrepiece and focal point for all of the action taking place in the heart of the restaurant is the kitchen structure and pavilion. The custom-built wooden structure provides a skeletal frame with built-in direct light as well as diffused light on order to enhance the overall dining experience. The surrounding decorative lighting takes inspiration from both Japanese lanterns and traditional Chinese rice lamps. A considered restaurant lighting programme is comprised of both mood and technical solutions, which blend perfectly to support the entire spatial experience. OEO Studio worked closely with the lighting brands and suppliers in order to optimise the sense of ambience, light sources and functionality. Soft mood lighting includes the use of transparent Knit-Wit Light by Iksos-Berlin for Made by Hand. The 360° 3D-knitted lamp design takes inspiration from the sun and the traditional Chinese rice lamp, symbolic of the Far East. Shy Berry-coloured perforated Satellite pendant lights by Mathieu Mategot highlight the bar area, while a magnetic LED spot solution from Deltalight creates a sense of theatre around the restaurant’s open kitchen.

“Lighting is essential in creating a welcoming atmosphere,” Lykke says. “Good lighting supports the dining experience no matter where you are seated in the restaurant, whether you want an intimate setting or wish to be seated more casually by the bar counter. No matter where you are in the restaurant you have great views overlooking Tivoli Garden or the city’s skyline.

“Despite the open space with floor to ceiling windows on both sides the result is a warm and welcoming space with many evocative details, bespoke design elements and high-quality materials that blend together to reflect the meeting of East and West. ”