November 2, 2023

Tako is a brand-new sushi restaurant and cocktail bar situated in the heart of Ostiense in Rome, Italy. The neighbourhood is known for its strong industrial identity, which was once dominated by an electrical power start, river port and gasometer. Today, the area is lively with a strong street art scene, underground culture, and gourmet dining experiences.

Tako’s eclectic and playful interiors scheme was created by Rome-based architecture and interior design studio Collidanielarchitetto. Taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, the restaurant that opened in the Chinese year of the rabbit creates a strong emotional impact for diners.

The scheme, as described by the studio, is: “Charismatic and carefree; multifaceted and dreamlike, it is a colourful dream played out in macro-proportions. Butterflies, flowers, lollipops, and rabbits populate an environment where food and design blend together to bring to life an emotional, timeless, and ageless experience that remains imprinted in the memory of its guests.”

The project is spread over two floors, with the ground floor housing 160 seats, the kitchen and cocktail bar. A fluid movement is created with mirrored surfaces and metal coverings above a fragmented black and white floor.

The cocktail bar that welcomes guests is dominated by a monolithic cylinder and L-shaped counter in solid black marble. Press-bent metal magenta panels dominates the bar frontage while a macro circular bottle holder with polished steel details stands out against a background of iridescent pink glass, enhancing the dream-like atmosphere.

Luminous pearl pendants from Sikrea float from the ceiling like clusters of bubbles, creating a suspended, light atmosphere, which is enhanced by the multiplication of reflections on the mirrored surfaces and metal finishes.

“In Tako’s project, the circle serves as the foundation for the dynamic design elements, from the macro elements to the decorative patterns on surfaces and decorative lighting  fixtures. Both decorative light pieces used have a spherical shape. We chose the Bilia by Sikrea for the broader restaurant area, installing a cascade of luminous beads with multiple combinations to create a suspended and light atmosphere, accentuated by the reflections on mirrored surfaces and metallic coverings. In contrast, for the narrower and elongated section, we used the smaller metallic spheres of Mr. Jack to achieve a more intimate atmosphere.

A bold, pink lacquered arch marks the passage between the two floors used for various functions; a staircase leads to the basement that houses the customer services and technical areas,” explains Daniela Colli.

A kaleidoscopic tunnel of coloured arches is illuminated with lines of light using iGuzzini’s Laser, which multiply to infinity creating the illusion of being chased down towards the magical world of Alice in Wonderland.  “Walls are wrapped in pink and white wallpaper with dynamic geometry, while macro decor elements such as butterflies, flowers, rabbits and lollipops define a pop identity, in a careful and calibrated staging of colours and shapes,” describes the studio.

Colli adds: “Each space should have lighting that complements its function, materials, and colours. I enjoy contrasting light and shadow, which is an essential feature in my projects. Decorative lighting plays a significant role in my interior design projects, serving as an iconic and central element in the space.

“Generally, I employ lighting with small LED recessed spotlights controlled by a home automation system that allows me to adjust the light intensity. Depending on the presence of daylight and the desired atmosphere, I create different lighting scenarios. I use decorative lamps to establish the right evening ambiance, especially where the light should be soft and have a lower colour temperature compared to daylight.”

The only challenge Colli faced during this project’s journey was getting the decorative lighting to communicate with the home automation control system, which did not recognise the correct IP addresses of the various lights. “After several unsuccessful attempts, we decided to separate the control of decorative lighting from the architectural lighting,” she explains. “Unfortunately, this is a problem we have encountered in the past because decorative lamp manufacturers often prioritise design over the technical aspects.”

Overall, Colli deems the project a success that fully met her client’s brief. “I am very satisfied with the project’s outcome, and we undoubtedly exceeded both our own and their expectations. Tako is an immersive space where customers can freely express themselves, entering a fairy tale – a magical and whimsical environment for imaginative journeys.

“I dreamed to create a place where you can feel free to express yourself, to detach yourself from the concreteness of everyday life, to enter a fairy tale, a magical and extravagant environment in which people of all ages can travel with their imagination. When you enter Tako you are captivated by the colours, the lights, the details, everything is emotion and amazement.”