2Scale was given the opportunity to team up with the owners of Raku again for a rebranding renovation of their existing Raku restaurant in Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. For this new concept, Rakuya: Japanese Kitchen + Bar, the owners were looking for a casual, family friendly neighborhood restaurant and bar inspired by a Japanese Izakaya.
The owners wanted a design inspired by a combination of the Modern and Rustic Tokyo streetscape.
One of the design challenges of the space was it’s small footprint. The owner wanted to maximize the seating capacity while still keeping a comfortable space for their patrons. 2Scale was able to achieve this by doing a study on ergonomics and by analyzing the minimum dimensions required that would still achieve comfort for the patrons. All upholstered banquettes and tables were custom sized to maximize the seating capacity of the restaurant. Several sample chairs and barstools were provided for the owners’ physical review, so we could include the best solution for small scaled furniture with maximum comfort.
The restaurant design includes custom banquettes which were inspired by Traditional Japanese screens and feature upholstered ‘buoys’ inspired by Japanese textiles. Tables and millwork are a dark, rustic oak wood. Other materials include the use of oversized manila rope inspired by the Japanese fishing trade and white textured tiles inspired by traditional Japanese plaster techniques. Tokyo’s lit, rectilinear shop signs and black and white graffiti were also a source of modern inspiration. These inspirations can be seen throughout the restaurants signage, window film graphics, and patterned fabrics. Mood lighting was also used throughout the space to add to the warmth and comfort of this neighborhood restaurant.